Day two of Race of Solidarity and the Olympians was very chaotic and filled with crashes.
Two stages was on the menu on the second day of racing. Profiles of both suited sprinters and were under 100 kilometers long – 99,6 and 84km respectively.
In the morning the riders took off from Koluszki and headed to Kutno. Given the short distance, the pace was super-fast right from the gun. Nobody was let go early, since GC contenders were eyeing intermediate sprint in Brzeziny, at 13km mark. It was taken by race leader, Paweł Franczak (Verva ActiveJet). Later the tempo decreased slightly and Wojciech Franczak (De Rosa) alongside Dariusz Kołakowski (Voster) took advantage of it. They established almost 2-minute lead before the bunch started the chase.
Łukasz Owsian was trying to bridge across to the leaders, but got caught by the peloton. Eventually the duo was also reeled back in, with 20km to go.
Stage 2 was filled with crashes and CCC Sprandi Polkowice were among those, who hit the ground. One of them happened within final kilometer and involved some of the favorites. Maciej Paterski who was sitting in 5th overall, was the victim, as well as Łukasz Owsian. They both crossed the line with some bruises and were given the same time as the winner.
Jesper Hamelink (Metec – TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel) managed to avoid the crash and sprinted to victory. He bested Verva ActiveJet duo, Paweł Franczak and Łukasz Bodnar. Bartłomiej Matysiak was the first “rider in orange” at the finish, claiming 12th place.
The evening stage from Pabianice to Sieradz had similar characteristic to the morning one, but it was held under completely different weather conditions. It started to rain heavily and the temperature dropped from over 30 to under 20 degrees. The roads got wet, slippery and dangerous.
Fast pace prevented anyone from breaking away early on, but finally Bartosz Pilis (Huron De Rosa) and Robert Kessler (LKT Team Brandenburg) managed to go clear. When they established 1:30 gap Pilis punctured and fell behind, leaving Kessler alone in the lead. The Huron De Rosa Rybnik rider was later joined by Kamil Turek (TC Chrobry Scott Głogów) and Aleh Ahiyevich (Minsk) who counterattacked from the field, but eventually the chasing trio got caught with around 30km to go.
Kessler set strong pace for himself extending his advantage to almost 3 minutes, but the peloton left a lot energy for the finale and was quickly reducing the gap. In the final kilometers of the stage Remi Cavagna (Klein Constantin) was able to bridge across and on the streets of Sieradz few riders launched an attack. Among them was race leader, Paweł Franczak.
It appeared that they will reach the line ahead of the pack, but in the very end they were led the wrong way by the organizers. The attackers were passed by the group and Maciej Paterski was first man at the finish. Eventually the victory was taken away from him by the jury and was given to Cavagna. Kessler got 2nd and Franczak 3rd. In the revised results Paterski was 17th.