Michał Paluta claimed 2nd place overall in one of the most prestigious races in East Central Europe, Carpathian Couriers Race.
On the last day of racing the riders faced arguably the hardest stage of the 5-day competition. It was 130 kilometers long and featured four categorized climbs. Some of them were extremely difficult with maximum gradient of almost 25% (Golgota climb).
Michał Paluta was sitting in 2nd overall before the stage (Stephan Baker from Cyclingteam Jo Piels who was ahead of him in GC, didn’t start the last stage). He was still in the contention for the final triumph and he got off to a good start, by finishing 3rd at first intermediate sprint, gaining bonus second.
Later, many attacks were being launched, but the peloton, in which CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were working very hard, neutralized all the moves. There was never a breakaway which would create a bigger advantage, but the hard climbing broke the bunch in few pieces. Around 40-man group entered the final 20 kilometers, and it included Michał Paluta, Patryk Stosz and Piotr Brożyna.
Inside the last 2 kilometers the leaders were guided the wrong way and it was decided that the stage winner will be selected from the second group. Ken-Levi Eikeland (Team FIXIT.no) was awarded the victory, ahead of Mateusz Grabis (TC Chrobry Scott Głogów) and Karol Kuklewicz (TKK Pacific Toruń).
Michał Paluta and the rest of the leading group were granted time which was recorded with 3 kilometers to go, so the Polish U23 Champion could celebrate 2nd place overall. In total, “orange squad” took home GC podium, victory in the Best Polish Riders classification and two stage wins (Alan Banaszek, Paluta).
Hamisch Schreurs (Klein Constantia) claimed the GC triumph.