Thanks to a great teamwork and ambitious performance, Mateusz Taciak moved up in the standings after the final stage and took the overall win at Tour of Małopolska.
The last stage featured some climbs which are known from Tour de Pologne. Among them there was Gliczarów, with the gradient of over 20%. Most of the climbing was scheduled for the middle part of the stage, as the final 40 kilometers were mostly downhill or flat (with a short, punchy hill towards the line).
Marcin Mrożek did early on what he does best, which is attacking and getting into the breaks. He was part of the 7-man escape, which gained 50 seconds of advantage. The composition of the leading group changed drastically after Gliczarów. Relentless selection created a 9-man breakaway with four “riders in orange” – Davide Rebellin, Marcin Mrożek, Leszek Pluciński and Łukasz Owsian. Radoslav Rogina, Domen Novak (both Adria Mobil), Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech Fuji), Andrii Bratashchuck (Kolss BDC) and Matteo Fabbro (Team Friuli A.S.D) were also involved in that action.
Mateusz Taciak, who was 3rd in the general classification, fell slightly behind, but joined the leaders a little bit later, after a counterattack from the chasing group and a help from Marcin Mrożek, who waited for him. Thanks to that move 5 CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were present in the leading group.
They set strong pace and increased the gap to 3 minutes over the drastically reduced bunch, with race leader Dariusz Batek (Wibatech Fuji) and 2nd in GC, Roberto Giacobazzi (Team Friuli A.S.D). It meant that Taciak became the virtual leader.
His teammates worked extremely hard in the break to maintain the advantage. They managed to kept it all the way to the line, helping Taciak get his second consecutive overall win in the Polish stage event (after Bałyk – Karkonosze Tour). CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider claimed the GC victory – ahead of Bratashchuck and Novak – while Rebellin finished 3rd on the stage. He also took 5th in the general standings.
Marek Rutkiewicz got the stage triumph ahead of Rogina.
The Polkowice based squad left Stary Sącz with the win in the teams classification as well.
The plan was to attack early, since we had nothing to lose. I didn’t expect that the stage will unfold the way it did though and that the leader will be in such difficulties – Mateusz Taciak said afterwards. – Yesterday Wibatech Fuji showed their strength and that they are ready to defend the jersey, but today it was our day. My teammates deserve all the credit for this overall win – they gave everything they had and I only finished off their work. I managed to bridge across in the right moment. Marcin Mrożek waited for me and also Leszek Pluciński joined us and helped catch the leading group.
I’ve been preparing for this part of the season. Polish championships are getting closer and I’m aiming the individual time trial. I hope I will be able to maintain my form until the Nationals.