Maciej Paterski takes the opener of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

After finishing 22nd in the Sunday’s legendary Milano-Sanremo, Maciej Paterski claimed an amazing win on stage 1 of Volta a Catalunya. CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider also became the leader of general, mountains and points classification.

One of my biggest dreams has come true – to win a UCI World Tour race. I am very happy about that – Maciej Paterski said afterwards. – I felt very well throughout the entire day, except the last 10 kilometers when the cramps began to strike. I felt dehydrated, but it was not only me, because it turned out that other escapees also had to deal with the same problem. In the end I was trying to not push on the pedals too hard and spin as easy as possible. It helped. During the finale I had to forget about the pain and concentrate on the sprint.

I have to take advantage of those days, when I feel strong and today I did exactly that.

Now we own the leader jersey so we will try to maintain it as long as possible. We have few other options, because I’m also the leader of mountains and points classification, but we will set the strategy with our sporting directors tomorrow and we will take one day at a time.

Yesterday’s Milano-Sanremo didn’t have a negative influence on my form. After Ruta del Sol I spent some time on recovery, I took one week off from the bike and I rested physically and mentally.

Maciej Paterski attacked after series of unsuccessful breakaway attempts, which occurred throughout the first 50 kilometers of the race. The CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider broke away alongside Bart De Clercq (Lotto) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar). They pushed the pace on the initial, mostly flat part of the route and built up a large lead. At the bottom of the first climb of the day, their advantage was at 13 minutes, while their maximum lead touched earlier 16 minutes.

Paterski was the first one to reach the top of Viladrau (cat.2) and took the lead in the mountains classification. He also won the KOM on Alt de Coll Formic (cat. 1) and Alt de Coll Sacreu (cat. 3) and was certain to put on the KOM jersey’s after the stage.

The trio worked extremely well together and was not letting the gap drop down drastically. It was still at 9 minutes with 35km to go, so the riders could concentrate on how to play the finale.

Paterski, de Clercq and Rolland had safe advantage over the bunch before the sprint. Paterski had cramps on the last kilometers but it didn’t influence his performance in the end. De Clercq was the first one to attack, but Paterski followed and bridged to the Belgian. Then he jumped off himself. Rolland was not able to overtake him and Paterski could celebrate his first UCI World Tour victory. It was also the first win in such a prestigious race for the CCC Sprandi Polkowice. The last time a Polish rider won a stage in Catalunya was Czeslaw Lang, who took the prologue in 1988.

Stage 1 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Calella – Calella, 185.2km

1. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

2. Pierre Rolland (Europcar)

3. Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Soudal)

52. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 2:40

79. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

85. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

89. Branislau Smaoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

111. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

126. Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 9:20

159. Josef Cerny (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 18:13