It was a bitter-sweet opening of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol for the CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Grega Bole claimed first podium place for the team, but three “riders in orange” were involved in a massive late crash and suffered some injuries.
-From one hand I’m happy that I finished on the podium today, but from the other it’s always hard when you see your teammates and other riders crash so close from you – Grega Bole said. – When the crash happened, 4km from the finish, we were going all together as a team. I don’t know how me and Maciej Paterski did it, but somehow we managed to avoid the crash. It was pure luck. In the end Maciej did a great job helping me to position myself for the sprint and he deserves a lot of credit for that. I am satisfied with the result today and I felt better than in Murcia and Almeria. Although I’m still not in my top shape.
Stage 1a began with a 4-man breakaway forming early on. Reinier Honig (Team Roompot), Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare), Aleksandr Komin (RusVelo) and Ibai Salas (Burgos-BH) established 2:30 lead which remained stable for majority of the race. It went down rapidly after 50km mark.
Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) tried a solo move after the breakaway got caught. His time on the front didn’t last long and was also brought back in, with 18km to go. The very fast pace in the finale made any other attacks impossible to launch and the bunch sprint was expected. Unfortunately a big crash happened and took down many riders, including Stefan Schumacher, Łukasz Owsian and Adrian Honkisz.
Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal) managed to stay out of trouble and was the fastest among those who avoided the crash. Greg Bole was also the lucky one and finished in third, 2 seconds behind the winner. It was the first podium spot for the team in 2015. Maciej Paterski made the top 10 too, by claiming 8th place.
The riders will also compete in the afternoon, in the short 8,2 km time trial in Coria del Río. It’s uncertain if Stefan Schumacher and Łukasz Owsian will take part in it and are undergoing medical examination. Adrian Honkisz’s injuries were not very serious and will participate.
Results of stage 1a Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol
1. Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal)
2. Fabio Silvestre (Trek Factory Racing) 0:02
3. Grega Bole (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
8. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
41. Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 1:02
58. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 1:43
83. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 3:36
137. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 7:31
139. Łukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 7:43