Mateusz Taciak took the win and Paweł Cieślik was the runner-up in uphill time trial, stage 4 of Bałtyk – Karkonosze Tour.
Info: May 19th, Kowary – Przełęcz Okraj, 11,6km (ITT)
Course: uphill time trial (Avg. 5,1%)
Experience riders, such as Mateusz Taciak who has won this event twice, knew the time trial’s course like their own pockets. CCC Sprandi Polkowice was extremely motivated to cut the time loses in the general classification and approached the stage with ambitious mindset.
Kamil Małecki, who was the first “rider in orange” to roll down the start ramp, set the time to beat, at 25:43. Markus Freiberger took over the lead for a moment, but then Mateusz Taciak smashed his time by one minute with 24:33. Only his teammate, Paweł Cieślik, for whom Bałtyk – Karkonosze Tour is a first race after a heart surgery held back in January, was able get anywhere near his result and go sub 25 minutes, with 24:57. CCC Sprandi Polkowice duo took 1-2 and Philipp Walsleben (P&S Thuringen) rounded out the podium. He is now the new leader.
My sensations were great right from the start. Legs were strong and it was only a matter of whether I can keep up that pace until the finish. I was able to do that, recording one of the highest watts in a TT in my career – Mateusz Taciak explained. – What gave me that extra motivation today was the fact, that we haven’t quit on GC and I wanted to limit my losses in the overall standings to be in better position coming into the last and arguably hardest stage of the race. I also thrive on negative comments I read on the internet about me and our team, which were far from truth. That helped me too.
After the TT Taciak sits in 4th and Cieślik in 5th in GC, 2:06 and 2:30 back.
After my heart surgery, I didn’t do anything for almost three months, so to come here and take 2nd place in the uphill time trial is something that gives me a lot of satisfaction – Paweł Cieślik said. – I trained here, on this climb few weeks ago, but my form was not great at that point. Today, after few days of racing, I felt much better. I still lack some power and race rhythm, but today’s performance is a good sign for the future.