An expert on Tour de Pologne, Mariusz Witecki (CCC Polsat Polkowice) shared his comments and reflections after the last, seventh stage of Tour de Pologne with the finishing line in Kraków.
The 68th Tour de Pologne has gone down in history, we will remember it for the Poles’ breakaways and above all for the struggle to win until the last metre, which is rare in a stage race of that category.
The seventh, short, winding stage along the roads of Kraków (fortunately it did not rain) and today, like yesterday we saw ‘Moraj’ – Jacek Morajko in action, initially he was riding with a representative of Poland Michał Podlaski, who, however, did not keep up with the pace imposed by ‘Moraj’ at the head and let go, but bravo for the ambitions.
Jacek was in the lead for a long time, but those interested in the sprint stage did not let him create a big gap, in order to catch up with him before the sprint stage. Before the sprint stage, after the peloton absorbed ‘Moraj’ ‘Maniek’ – Tomasz Marczyński tried to attack, but only after the sprint stage finish the peloton let him break away a bit, together with Oliveira.
The scenario for that stage could have been only one, and it was such, the field sprint, ‘Maniek’ caught up with about 3 km before the finishing line and we saw for the fourth time Marcel Kittel happy, this time, however, Peter Sagan was rejoicing with him, securing himself a victory in the whole race by achieving the second place.
Assessing the whole race one has to praise all the Poles for their performance. The boys from the national team ended the race with a reduced line-up – perhaps not everybody is ready to race at that level – but with Adrian Kurek’s jersey of the most active cyclist, ‘Huzar’ – Bartek Huzarski’s seventh place in the GC.
The CCC Polsat Polkowice was very active every day and visible from the first to the last stage, the boys wer in all the ‘breakaways of the day’, and ‘Rutek’, during the king stage took a risk in the downhill stretch, because he wanted to win, and not to wait until the end which would not help him. In my opinion he is showing again that he is very well prepared for that race and he fights every time for the victory, doing his best. Despite the failure of the attack he ends the race among the first ten cyclists and but for the unlucky loss from Cieszyn he would have had a place in the first five.
In spite of the whole team’s ambitious ride there was some dissatisfaction, because after such an active ride the boys deserved a victory, perhaps not in the GC, but a stage win or a jersey… But congratulations, boys, and thanks for letting us have somebody to cheer on for the whole week.
Also ‘Goły’ – Michał Gołaś deserves praise: the winner of the best climber category, who went yesterday’s stage very well and won decisively. I had some more hopes concerning Przemek Niemiec, because we actually did not see him much during the race; he was fourth in the sixth stage, which is certainly a good achievement, but in the GC he missed a bit.
On the whole the race was successful for the Poles, the big number at the starting line translated into our opportunity to see them more often in breakaways, two jerseys got into our hands, in the general classification two cyclists among the first ten, or three of them among the first eleven. And as many as four Poles at the hardest stage came at the finishing line among the best ones, so we can definitely consider that Tour as successful.
Greetings – ‘Witek’ Mariusz Witecki