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Puchar MON: Stępniak 2nd in the bunch sprint finish

Grzegorz Stępniak claimed 2nd place in the Puchar Ministra Obrony Narodowej. After the bunch sprint, the race was won by Czech Erik Baska. 

When we entered the town, we didn’t want to form our lead-out train to early, because of the strong win. There was no point in wasting energy too soon and we moved at the front of the peloton on the last, 3,5-kilometer lap. I was the first one to start the sprint, with 200 meters to go, but when it was 50 meters left, Erik Baska jumped off my wheel and took the win. It was a pure, fair sprinters’ battle and he was the fastest today – Grzegorz Stępniak said afterwards.

This year’s edition of the 1.2 event was held in Masuria region, on the route from Pisz to Orzysz. The race featured two big laps and in total there was 176 kilometers to cover.

The race saw very high pace through out the entire competition. In the first hour of racing the average speed reached 48km/h and later it didn’t go down drastically. It was nearly impossible to break clear at that speed of the bunch. A 7-man group, with Tomasz Kiendyś, gained the biggest advantage of the day, which was only 30 seconds.

Few other groups were being formed later on, but none of them survived in the front for too long. Large group entered the final 20 kilometers and teams were getting ready for the mass sprint. CCC Sprandi Polkowice moved up front in the group to find good position for Grzegorz Stępniak. Winner of this year’s Mazovia Tour was close to turning that lead-out to a victory, but was outsprinted by European Champion U23, Erik Baska (AWT-GreenWay). Stępniak finished right behind him and claimed second consecutive 2nd place in this race. Konrad Dąbkowski (ActiveJet), who won last year, this time took 3rd.

The same 8-man roster of the “orange squad” will participate tomorrow in the Memoriał Stanisława Królaka, held on the streets of Warsaw.