Leszek Pluciński fought his way into the breakaway on stage 5 of Tour of Austria, that ended with a monumental climb of Grossglockner.
Info: July 11th, Matrei – Grossglockner, 92,9km
Course: mountain top finish – 18km, avg. 8,3%, max. 12%
The stage was short – only 93km – and featured uphill start to cat. 1 KOM, so everyone expected a rapid opening. That was exactly the case and after multiple attacks a 13-breakaway was formed. Leszek Pluciński got his spot in that group.
They collaborated well together and continued to increase their lead. The gap just before the bottom of the final climb was at 4 minutes, so they had rational chances of making it to the top ahead of the chasers.
With the road getting steeper and steeper, escapes started having difficulties with keeping the pace. Nikolay Mihaylov (Delko) and Antonio Nibali (Bahrain Merida) stayed up the road the longest, while Pluciński got dropped and covered the climb at his own speed.
Halfway through the nearly 20-kilometer long ascent, Pieter Weening (Roompot) bridged across to the leading duo and then left them behind. Ho soloed to the summit in a victorious fashion, besting Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Simone Sterbini (Bardiani CSF).
Paweł Cieślik was the highest placed CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider in this rainy and cold stage, coming in in 18th place, 2:37 back. Michal Schlegel who was 17th overall had one of those bad days and lost few minutes to the winner, dropping out of top 30 in GC.
Ben Hermans (Israel Academy) retained his leader jersey.