The final day of Bałtyk – Karkonosze Tour was dominated by CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders. Mateusz Taciak won the morning time trial and Leszek Pluciński claimed the overall victory.
Leszek Pluciński took over the GC lead after the uphill time trial. It was 11,6 kilometers long and ended on the Okraj pass. It was very successful TT for the team, since Mateusz Taciak set the best time – 25 minutes and 18 seconds – and Pluciński was second.
It’s my second victory on Okraj, after I’ve won here two years ago. I saved energy on the way to the bottom of the climb and when the road started to go up I went all in. The ascent was not very steep and I felt very well. First 4 stages of the race didn’t have a bad impact on my legs. Our team showed its strength today. In the previous days every our move was controlled by the bunch and we couldn’t really do much about it – Mateusz Taciak said afterwards. Thanks to his great individual performance, he advanced from 20th to 2nd in the general classification.
Leszek Pluciński’s finished the time trial 36 seconds behind his teammate. He not only caught up on the GC leader, Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling), but also gained extra 53 seconds. In the race against the clock, he defeated the British rider by 1:17 and moved up from 7th to 1st place overall. 23 seconds separated Pluciński and Taciak.
The afternoon stage was only 82-kilometer long, but included lots of climbing. The “orange squad” was pacing the bunch from the very beginning to make sure that nobody creates a big gap. The team materialized the plan perfectly and the advantage of the attackers never exceeded one minute.
Although four runners managed to break clear in the end and arrive at the finish, their lead was slim and they were never a GC threat. Kamil Zieliński took the stage win, ahead of Matvey Nikitin (Kazakhstan) and Anatoliy Budyak (ISD Continental).
The group with two highest ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders, came in 9 seconds behind and Leszek Pluciński could celebrate his first victory of the season. He was joined on the podium by Mateusz Taciak who finished the 5-day event in 2nd place. Peter Williams rounded out the top 3.
I felt great in the time trial. I don’t specialize in the race against the clock, so the result was surprising even for me. On the last stage the team was amazing, everyone gave 100 percent and I’m very grateful for their help. Thanks to them I was able to protect the lead and achieve the biggest success in my career – Leszek Pluciński said.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice not only won the individual, but also teams’ classification (3:08 ahead of Kazakhstan National Team).