Grzegorz Stepniak was very close from Winding Puchar Ministra Obrony Narodowej but eventuely had to settle for 2nd place. He was outsprinted by Konrad Dabkowski (ActiveJet).
The 53rd edition of Puchar Ministra Obrony Narodowej took the peleton around Szydłowiec. The start and the finish was located on the main square. The race ended with 5 laps in the town and 149 kilometers on riders’ bike computers.
One of the first attacks came from Piotr Wojciechowski (Mexller) and Andrzej Bartkiewicz (Sante BSA Whistle Team) and they managed to brake clear. They established 3 minute lead over the peleton after covering 30 kilometers. The gap remained stable over the next 40 kilometers but it got reduced quickly when the peleton picked up the pace.
The breakaway was over with 50km to go, and despite many attacks no one was able to build up bigger advantage. On the final laps in Szydlowiec Adam Stachowiak (BDC MarcPol) tried his luck but was caught and the decisive moment of the race belonged to sprinters.
Konrad Dabkowski (ActiveJet) turned out to be the strongest and Grzegorz Stepniak (CCC Polsat Polkowice) took 2nd. That was his second podium spot in this season in the UCI races. Erik Baska (Dukla Trencin Trek) finished 3rd.
The final sprint was very hard – said Stepniak afterwards. – Before entering Main Square in Szydlowiec we had to face to downhill turns. The finish was slightly uphill and on the cobbles. I like those kind of sprints, but today Konrad Dabkowski was just strongest. We were in similar position in group in the final meters and I couldn’t outsprint him. I want to congratulate Konrad for this victory.
Results of 53. Puchar Ministra Obrony Narodowej:
1. Konrad Dabkowski (ActiveJet Team) 3:27:25
2. Grzegorz Stepniak (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
3. Erik Baska (Dukla Trencin Trek)
49. Tomasz Marczynski
53. Maciej Paterski
56. Adrian Honkisz
58. Branislau Samiolau
60. Marek Rutkiewicz
61. Lukasz Owsian
64. Mateusz Taciak