After two extremely successful stages and two victories, “riders in orange” finished outside the top 10 on the third day of racing in Carpathian Couriers Race.
Stage 3 was the first day for CCC Sprandi Polkowice of defending the leader jersey, worn by Michał Paluta. It was not an easy task, considering the demanding route and rainy conditions.
The day’s main breakaway was formed soon after first KOM (at 19km) and it included Artur Sowiński (Poland), Michael Thompson (Wiggins), Maikel Bos (Cyclingteam Jo Piels), Carl Soballa (LKT Team Brandenburg), Nuno Bico (Klein Constantia) and Ward Jaspers (Lotto). They established nearly 2-minute gap.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice made sure, that their leader is well protected and the escapees don’t get much space. Thanks to their effort the advantage dropped to one minute with 67 kilometers to go. At that point only two riders left up front – Bico and Jespers. Their journey in the lead ended with around 50 kilometers remaining.
It didn’t stay all together for too long, since Jake Kelly (Team Wiggins) and Eriks Gavars (Latvia) made another move and gained 1:30 seconds on the peloton. They were brought back in as well only 5 kilometers from the finish.
Short but hard climb that led to the finish was decisive for the stage results. Hamish Schreurs (Klein Constantia) was the strongest man in this uphill finale and took the win. He defeated Max Kanter (LKT Team Brandenburg) and Krists Neilands (Axeon Hagens Berman).
Michał Paluta was the team’s top finisher, claiming 15th place, 5 seconds behind the winner. He lost the leader jersey to Schreurs, but still sits in 3rd overall.