Giro d’Italia: Matysiak 15th on the last stage, Contador wins the GC

Bartłomiej Matysiak finished 15th on the final stage of 98th Giro d’Italia. It was won by an escapee, Iljo Keisse. Alberto Contador claimed the overall win and Sylwester Szmyd was the highest ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice in the general classification.

All of the riders who arrived to the finish yesterday, showed up at the start of the last stage. Among them there was eight CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders. They had 178 kilometers ahead of them, with the finale held on a 5,4-kilometer twisty circuit in Milan.

In contrast to previous days, this time the stage started calmly. Traditionally first part of the ride on the final day is more about the celebration than racing. Alberto Contador, who was certain to win the general classification, could have a sip of a champagne. Also other riders had the opportunity to enjoy the moment and relaxed atmosphere.

First attacks didn’t start until 30km to go, when the bunch entered the laps in Milan. Luke Durbridge (Oirca-GreenEDGE) and Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step) broke away and established 30-40 second gap. It seemed like the peloton is in the control but in the end, sprinters’ teams couldn’t reach an agreement on who should chase. The leading duo took advantage of that and expanded it’s advantage.

Escapees arrived at the finish ahead of the chasing group. Keisse was the fastest in a two-man sprinting battle and grabbed the win. Durbrridge was 2nd and Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling) was the strongest from the main field.  Bartłomiej Matysiak came in in 15th place. It was tenth time that CCC Sprandi Polkowice finished in the Top 15 (Matysiak did it once, Bole six times, Maciej Paterski once and the entire team once, in the team time trial). Every rider from the Polkowice-based squad, who started the stage, arrived at the finish in Milan – Bartłomiej Matysiak, Maciej Paterski, Sylwester Szmyd, Grega Bole, Marek Rutkiewicz, Łukasz Owsian, Nikolay Mihaylov and Branislau Samoilau. The only “rider in orange” who didn’t have the opportunity to complete Giro d’Italia, was Jaroslaw Marycz. He was involved in a crash and had to abandon on Stage 12. Until that moment he was a very valuable part of the team. Now he is recovering in Poland after all necessary treatments.

Alberto Contador (Tinkof-Saxo) was the overall winner and Sylwester Szmyd was the highest ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice runner. He took 45th (2:44:22 back). Marek Rutkiewicz was one of the most aggressive riders of the Giro d’Italia. He finished 11th in the Traguardo Volante classification (based on points gained at the intermediate sprints) and 4th in Premio Della Fuga (based on kilometers covered in the breakaway). In the latter CCC Sprandi Polkowice gained in total 834 points. The team was also 14th in the teams classification, ahead of few UCI World Tour squads. Additionally Maciej Paterski took 9th in the unusual classification Premio Energy, which rewards a rider who has ridden the final 3km of a stage the fastest .