Despite some bad luck on the last stage, Maciej Paterski claimed overall victory at Szlakiem Walk Majora Hubala (2.1).
Info: Stage 4, June 4th, Radoszyce – Końskie, 188km
Course: undulating (one cat. 1 climb – 33,4km, three cat. 2 climbs – 58,8km, 105,3km, 151,6km, three intermediate sprints – 5,1km, 79km, 125,1km)
How it unfolded?
The stage did start the team had hoped for. Maciej Paterski and few of his teammates were involved in the pile up just before the intermediate sprint, when GC contenders were fighting for position and bonus seconds. “Riders in orange” suffered some bruises and were able to continue the race, but the crash also caused some mechanicals, which had to be fixed. Meanwhile Kamil Zieliński (Domin) won the sprint, reducing the gap in GC to Paterski to just 3 seconds.
It all happened with just few kilometers into the stage. On first categorized climb Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech 7r Fuji) and Adam Stachowiak (Vostar) sparked some action, attacking and breaking the field in two pieces. Afterwards Emanuel Piaskowy (Team Hurom), Jiri Polnicky (Czechy), Thomas Stewart (One Pro Cycling), Adrian Honkisz (Wibatech 7r Fuji), Oleksandr Prevar (Kolss), Eduard Vorganov (Minsk Cycling Club) pulled away, establishing 6-minute lead.
It turned out to be enough to hold off chasing bunch. Peloton was reducing the gap, but not quickly enough to catch the escapees. With 20km to go the advantage was still at 3 minutes.
Breakaway survived until the very which played in Paterski’s favor, since he didn’t have to worry about battling for bonus seconds at the finish. Stewart was the fastest from the escape taking the win. He outsprinted Polnicky and Honkisz. Maciej Paterski came in in the main group, in 15th place, with the same time as Kamil Zieliński, securing the overall win. Also Piotr Brożyna delivered his white jersey, triumphing in youth classification.
Aside from winning the overall, Paterski is going home with victory in criterium (prologue), stage 1, as well as 4th and 6th place on the stages.
After Giro d’Italia, on the first two days of the race, in criterium and stage 1 I felt very strong. Last two days of competition however, were not that pleasant. My legs were not as good and mentally I was also tired, but thanks to my teammates we were able to deliver the leader jersey until the very end – Maciej Paterski said afterwards.
I was quite afraid of the last stage, since the level of exhaustion was high. And the stage was nervous indeed. Early crash, chaos related to misleading us on the course and Kamil Zieliński’s victory on the first intermediate sprint – all that didn’t make things easier for us. But thankfully a breakaway went clear, with nobody who was a threat for us. They took all the bonus seconds, so we could just sit in the bunch. We had everything under control.
Next race for me is Tour of Małopolska. Initially I was going to go to Tour de Suisse, but we’ve decided that I’m not recovered enough to take part in such a hard event.