Grzegorz Stępniak claimed the overall victory in Wyścig dookoła Mazowsza (2.2). He finished the race with 2nd place on the last stage.
We had the stage underground control. I won the first intermediate sprint and later 6-man group broke away. It included riders who were far behind in the general classification. We were hoping that they survive all the way to the finish and collect all the bonus seconds. When the Dutch and German teams began to pull we knew it’s not going to happen. My teammates did a great job in the finale and helped me position myself for the bunch sprint – Grzegorz Stępniak said afterwards.
We didn’t have too much success in the Polish races lately and I wanted to change that. There was a lot of pressure on us, but I strive on pressure and this is when I’m at my best.
It’s my first overall win in a stage race, in my career. It’s a different feeling when you are “only” chasing a stage win, then when you are the leader for GC. When you see your teammates working so hard for you throughout the entire race, it gives you extra motivation. It involves also extra stress, but at the end of the day, it gives you mental boost. Especially when you win.
On the last day of racing, the riders were facing three, 54-kilometer circuits around Kozienice. The pace was very fast right from the gun, since many cyclists wanted to pull away. Eventually big group arrived at the first intermediate sprint (54km into the stage) and Grzegorz Stępniak collected the most amount of bonus seconds. Twan Brusselman, who sits in third overall, was second and Kersten Thiele, who sits in second, was third. Therefore CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider increased his GC lead to 6 and 9 seconds.
After that sprint, a six-man group managed to break clear. It included Wojciech Sykała (KK Tarnovia Tarnowo Podgórne), Mateusz Komar (Whistle ESKOM Ziemia Brzeska) and Patryk Złotowicz (TKK Pacific Toruń) among others. They took all the points and seconds on the second intermediate sprint. They were unable to establish bigger advantage though and they got caught with 15-kilometers to go. Afterwards, the battle of sprinters kicked off.
Nils Schomber (Rad-Net Rose Team) turned out to be the fastest man on that day and grabbed the win. Grzegorz Stępniak finished second, and claimed the overall victory. Henning Bommel, Shomber’s teammate, was third.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider completed Wyścig dookoła Mazowsza 12 seconds ahead of Thiele and 15 seconds ahead of Brusselman. He also won the most active rider classification, with 12 points.