Maciej Paterski nearly missed out on the GC podium of Race of Solidarity and the Olympians, finishing in 4th place. He wrapped the 4-day event with 6th in the last stage.
The final 195-kilometer stage from Tarnobrzeg to Krosno was at the same time the most demanding and decisive in terms of general classification. It featured 4 categorized climbs, all in the final 70 kilometers of racing, and it was only 7 kilometers from the last KOM – Zamek Kamieniec – to the finish line.
The breakaway of the day was formed early on and 7 riders were part of that move. Last year’s winner, Johim Ariesen (Metec), leader of mountains classification Vojtech Hacecky (Whirpool), Tymur Maleev (ISD-Jorbi), Jan Ryba (Sparta Praga), Yauhan Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club), Sebasitan Matusiak (Krismar) and Martynas Maniusis (Staki – Baltik Vairas Cycling Team) were involved in that action. The latter was unable to keep up the strong pace and fell behind near the halfway point.
The escape established 8-minute lead, but when it entered more hilly terrain the group split in two pieces leaving Hacecky, Maleev and Sobal in the front. The peloton waited with the chase for a long time, letting the break get 7 minutes of advantage with 35km to go.
On the climb to Czarnorzeki, highest ranked in GC rider, Hacecky got dropped. Meanwhile the bunch, led by CCC Sprandi Polkowice was reduced to only 30 riders. The chasers cut down the gap to under 2 minutes at the top of Zamek Kamieniec, with 7,4km remaining, but since the rest of the course was mostly downhill they didn’t manage to catch the duo.
The victory was decided in a two-man battle. They were fighting not only for the stage, but also GC win. Sobal was able to pull away in the finale and crossed the line solo, few seconds ahead of Maleev. Frantisek Sisr (Klein Constantia) was the fastest from the shattered pack, taking 3rd at the line.
Maciej Paterski came in 6th and completed the 5-stage event just outside the podium. He claimed 4th, 24 seconds behind the winner, Sobal.