Łukasz Owsian finished 8th on stage 1 of CCC Tour Grody Piastowskie. Thanks to bonus seconds collected at intermediate sprints, Adrian Honkisz sits in 5th overall.
The opening stage took the riders from Chojnów do Złotoryja. It was very hard to predict how the race will unfold. The undulating route, with a punchy uphill finish suited all kinds of riders – sprinters, punchers, escapees and climbers.
Racing kicked off with a two-man attack on a “welcoming” lap in Chojnów. It involved Willi Willwohl (LKT Team Brandenburg) and Andriy Khripta (Kolss – BDC). They established over 3-minute lead, but the peloton led first by TC Chrobry Głogów, and later by CCC Sprandi Polkowice closed the gap. The escape got caught on the cat. 1 climb Podgórki, with more than 100 km to go. “Riders in orange” set high pace on that ascent and strongly contributed to breaking the field apart.
After that selection a 27-man group emerged in the front, with Adrian Honkisz, Jan Hirt, Felix Grossschartner and Łukasz Owsian. Victor de la Parte punctured in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t make the cut. The leaders had over 40 seconds of advantage on the chasing peloton, but eventually it all came back together and the entire bunch started first out of three final laps around Złotoryja (24km each).
The circuit included two though climbs and one of them headed towards the finish line. They did a lot of damage in the pack and the group of stage contenders was reduced to around 25 riders. Among them were Owsian, Honkisz, Tomasz Kiendyś and Bartłomiej Matysiak.
On the final lap Oleksandr Polivoda (Kolss BDC Team) and Michele Gazzara (Norda-MG.Kvis Vega) pulled away, gaining 40 seconds of advantage. The chasers where not too eager to bridge that gap and the duo managed to hold on their lead all the way. Polivoda was the strongest in the uphill finish, Gazzara took 2nd and winner’s teammate, Vitaliy Buts, finished 3rd.
Łukasz Owsian was the first “rider in orange” to arrive, claiming 8th place. Adrian Honkisz was riding very aggressively in the finale and bonus seconds taken at two intermediate sprints helped him move to 5th overall. He wasn’t able to compete for the top places at the line, due to puncture close to the finish. Since it happened in the neutral zone, he didn’t lose any time in GC.