After a solo chase, over 200 kilometers in the breakaway and late solo move, Adrian Kurek claimed Polish champion title in road race.
Info: 25 June, Gdynia – Gdynia, 261km
Course: Undulating (two big laps, 84km each, four flat circuits in Gdynia, 11km each)
I decided to jump across to the breakaway at the beginning of the first big lap – Adrian Kurek explains. – At one point I was not sure what to do, since the bunch let me go and the escape, with Patryk Stosz, was 10 minutes ahead of me. I decided to go all in and do a individual time trial. After almost an hour of pursuit I caught the leaders.
When it started to rain in Gdynia, Marek Rutkiewicz shattered the break on wet and slippery circuit. There was only three of us left in the front. I felt good, but you never know how your legs will react after such a long distance. Even though I consider myself a better sprinter than the other escapees I decided to attack with 4-5km to go, since I’ve always dreamed of taking a solo win at a race like this. I was not looking back until the final straight, on cobbles. When I finally did and saw a service car behind me, I knew that the title is mine.
For many years I’ve been a domestique on our team or a lead-out man and I’m very happy that I was able to take advantage of the opportunity that occurred today. I know, that when I have strong legs, it’s really hard to catch me. Helping my teammates gives me a lot of joy, but to win myself is something extremely satisfying. Medal claimed on the track in European championships and two most combative jerseys at Tour de Pologne are one of my biggest achievements, but to win the Polish champion jersey is my most important win of my career.
How it unfolded
It didn’t take long to form the breakaway of the day. Patryk Stosz managed to go clear alongside four other riders Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech 7R Fuji), Patryk Stosz (CCC), Mateusz Nowaczek (Voster Uniwheels), Emanuel Piaskowy (Hurom) and Patryk Kostecki (Domin Sport). They gained 16-minute advantage, which was nothing unusual considering the length of the race – 261 kilometers.
After 40km of racing Adrian Kurek decided to make a brave a move and to bridge across. He timetrialed his way to the front, joining the escape with 85km into the race. With two “riders in orange” in the break and strong representation in the bunch, it was a good situation for the Polkowice-based squad.
On undulating 84-kilometer lap, the peloton split and strong 18-man chasing group was established. It included Maciej Paterski, Łukasz Owsian and young Alan Banaszek, as well as Rafał Majka, Paweł Poljański, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe), Łukasz Wiśniowski and Michał Gołaś (Team Sky) among others.
While entering the final four loops in Gdynia the chasing group was still 4 minutes behind, but when it started to rain, they didn’t want to take too much risk and eased up the pursuit. Meanwhile in the breakaway Adrian Kurek broke clear with Rutkiewicz and Piaskowy. On the final lap CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider took off by himself, holding off the chasers and securing gold medal and white-and-red jersey. Marek Rutkiewicz claimed silver and Emanuel Piaskowy bronze.