Kamil Gradek powered to top 10 in hard Belgian, 1.HC category race, Danilith Nokere Koerse. It was another impressive performance by the “orange squad” in one-day event, after Sunday’s victory of Frantisek Sisr in Ronde van Drenthe.
Info: March 14th, Deinze – Nokere, 191,1km
Course: undulating, cobbles, short and punchy climbs, cobbled uphill finish
8-man breakaway went clear soon after the gun and they established a solid gap of 10 minutes. CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were not part of that move, but later were among those who were setting strong pace in the chasing peloton. Kamil Małecki and Patryk Stosz spent the most energy in the front and thanks to their effort the differential dropped to 3 minutes with 50km to go.
With 35km remaining, on cobbled section with cross wind, the action in the bunch heated up. The field split and those who were the most aggressive on that section, managed to bridge to all, but one, initial escapees. The only rider left in the front was Connor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), who had attacked a moment earlier.
All of those moves didn’t turn out to be successful though, as with 9km to go the race was all back together. Main pack was shattered and included two riders of Polkowice-based squad – Kamil Gradek and Paweł Bernas. The former was very active late in the race, making sure to be always positioned safely near the front of the group, in case of another split.
Gradek took on uphill and cobbled finish in Nokereberg with the strongest, sprinting to very solid 10th place. He confirmed his good form, after claiming 14th in Dwars door West-Vlaanderen, held few days back.
Fabio Jakobsen (Quick Step Floors) got the win, edging out Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Hugo Hofstetterem (Cofidis).