CCC Sprandi Polkowice won team time trial, stage 1b of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, beating one of the best teams in the world, Team Sky. It was the first victory for the “orange squad” in 2017 season.
Info: March 23th, Gatteo a mare – Gatteo, 13.3km
It was a perfect TTT for our winning team. Everyone rode at the steady, but very strong pace. We didn’t have any weak points and we didn’t make any mistakes – Piotr Wadecki, DS of CCC Sprandi Polkowice said afterwards.
We decided to put all the riders, who often trained or raced on time trial bikes this season, into one group and it turned out to be a good strategy. The team which finished 7th also deserves a lot of credit. Jonas Koch joined us just few weeks ago, so he didn’t have enough time to train with his teammates, while Alan Banaszek and Frantisek Sisr did only one training session on TT bikes. Their result is very impressive if you take those facts into consideration.
On the morning stage we were one of the teams, which was pulling in the bunch and led the chase. Unfortunately the escape went all the way and gained 19 seconds in GC. Because of that we didn’t take over the lead in the general standings, but we will continue to fight. Before the race we picked Jan Tratnik to be the leader of this team and he is in a good position to attack in the upcoming stages.
As in previous years, the team time trial had an unusual format, as the teams were divided into two groups. Since CCC Sprandi Polkowice selected 8 riders for the race, it was able to send out on the course two 4-man squads. Alan Banaszek, Frantisek Sisr, Jonas Koch and Nikolay Mihaylov (team B) were in the first one and Marcin Białobłocki, Adrian Kurek, Jan Tratnik and Branislau Samoilau (team A) in the second.
After crossing the line, Team B set the beset result at the time – 15:20. At the end of the day they finished 7th, but their teammates regained the lead, recording 14:57. Soon after, Team Sky arrived at the finish, posting 14:59 and other remaining teams didn’t come close. That way CCC Sprandi Polkowice could celebrate their first win of the season.
Adrian Kurek moved up to third place overall. 2nd in the morning stage and representative of 3rd in TTT, Direct Energie, Lilian Calmejane will wear the leader jersey. Italian sprinter from Team Sky, Elia Viviani is 2nd, while Jan Tratnik sits right behind the Polish rider, with the same time in the general standings.