The winner of the 1st stage of the Circuit des Ardennes (cat. UCI 2.2) race was the rider of the Endura Racing team, Russell Downing. Bartłomiej Matysiak, who spent most of the stage in a break-away is holding the 6th place in the general classification.
At the starting line of the 1st stage of the 38th edition of Circuit des Ardennes there were 119 riders from 20 professional and amateur cycling teams from a lot of European countries, and among them the team of CCC Polsat Polkowice.
On the first day the riders had a distance of almost 180 kilometres to ride, leading along roads in a mountainous area of the Ardennes, from a place called Boulzicourt to Signy l’Abbaye. The whole route of the first stage abounded in relatively short uphills with three climbs and a lot of downhills, where there were 3 intermediate stages situated. The profile of the route formed in this way caused that a lot was happening in the peloton from the very beginning. There were a lot of attacks, but the first, serious one happened at 30 kilometres of the route, when two cyclists rode away. After several kilometres another group of riders made an attempt to jump over, among them Bartłomiej Matysiak. The breaking away riders joined into one group, in which there were seven riders: Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Schuller), Benoît Drujon (Auber 93), Benoît Daeninck (CC Nogent-sur-Oise), Pierre Bonnet (CC Etupes), Nikita Umerbekov (Astana CT), Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Polkowice) and Romain Guillemois (Vendée U).
The break-away riders started harmonious cooperation and quite soon they worked out a lead which at one time was about 3 minutes. Bartek Matysiak was doing very active riding in a break-away, taking among others the 2nd place at the third intermediate stage, winning bonus seconds, which influenced his place in the general classification a lot.
When the break-away riders had fewer and fewer kilometres left to ride before the finishing line, the peloton set a very quick pace and the gap was rapidly decreasing. Several kilometres before the finishing line the break-away got eliminated and the rushing peloton was riding all together. The last three kilometres before the finishing line were a very quick downhill stretch to the little town of Signy l’Abbaye, where the finishing line of stage 1 was situated. 1800 m before the finishing line Mateusz Taciak tried to attack out of the peloton, but the attempt was not successful. The whole peloton arrived at the finishing line, and the first one to finish was the British rider, Russell Downing, beating Mauro Abela Richezel (Team Nippo) and Patrick Clausen (Glud & Marstrand).
The best of CCC Polsat Polkowice riders was Marek Rutkiewicz, who crossed the finishing line in the 42nd place.
Bartek Matysiak, thanks to bonus seconds won at an intermediate stage, is holding the sixth place in the general classification.
The results of stage 1:
1. Downing Russell (Endura Racing) 04:17:14
2. RichezeI Mauro Abel (Team Nippo)
3. Clausen Patrick (Glud&Marstrand)
42. Marek Rutkiewicz
51. Nikolay Mihaylov
58. Paweł Charucki
64. Adrian Honkisz
65. Bartłomiej Matysiak
77. Mateusz Taciak