Maciej Paterski claimed 5th place in the Polish Championship road race in Świdnica. Rafał Majka took the title, winning the 2-man sprint against Marek Rutkiewicz.
The course in Świdnica was very demanding, with six, 37-kilometer laps that included two hard ascents – longer and more steep to Polczyk and shorter to Modliszów. The race was on right from the start. A 9-man group, that included Tomasz Kiendyś went away early. Also Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was among attackers, but the cooperation was not going that well and after gaining around 1-minute lead, they got caught.
Another move was made by top level riders, representing UCI World Tour teams. Maciej Paterski managed to break clear alongside Michał Kwiatkowski, Michał Gołaś (both Team Sky), Rafał Majka (Tinkoff), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora Argon 18), Łukasz Wiśniowski (Etixx Quick Step), Łukasz Bodnar (Verva ActiveJet), Kamil Zieliński (Domin Sport) and Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech Fuji). Later Marcin Mrożek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), together with Karol Domagalski (One Pro Cycling) and Bartosz Warchoł (Author Whirpool), was able to bridge across, rounding out a 12-man leading group.
In one of the descents Kwiatkowski, Gołaś, Majka, Huzarski, Wiśniowski, Zieliński and Rutkiewicz went off. CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders fell behind, returned to the bunch, but as it later turned out, the race for the medal was not over for Paterski.
The leading “7” was working well together, but the peloton led by the “orange squad” and Verva ActiveJet was far from giving up. They started to cut down the gap and when it was down to less than 2 minutes, Rutkiewicz and Majka launched an attack on Palczyk climb. The duo created a solid advantage and was not looking behind.
Meanwhile the pace in the reduced bunch was picking up and the rest of the escapees got caught on the final lap. Rutkiewicz and Majka maintained a solid lead though and survived all the way to the line. On the last climb Tinkoff rider tried to drop his rival, but the Wibatech Fuji runner closed the gap in the downhill.
It was all decided in a two-man battle at the finish. Majka didn’t let the white-and-red jersey slip away and sprinted to victory, leaving Rutkiewicz with silver medal. The 10-man chasing group, with Łukasz Owsian and Maciej Paterski came in 1:39 behind. The former was very lively in the finale, but his moves were being neutralized, while the latter tried his chances in the sprint for bronze. He was defeated by Sylwester Janiszewski (Wibatech Fuji) and Łukasz Wiśniowski though and had to settle for 5th place.