Storm at the start, peloton ripped apart in the cross wind and Alan Banaszek defending the leader jersey – that’s stage 3 of Race of Solidarity and the Olympians.
Info: 29th of June, Radom – Stalowa Wola, 211,1km
What initially seemed to be a long and calm stage, turned out to be an exciting and lively battle. It started with a 30-minute delay, due to storm over the course, which caused trees to fall down onto the roads.
After a fast opening and many breakaway attempts, strong crosswind picked up. Echelons were being formed and around 20 riders managed to fight their way into the first, leading group. Among them there were two CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders – race leader, Alan Banaszek and Polish champion, Adrian Kurek.
At the beginning the peloton, led by Lotto-Soudal U23 and Wibatech 7r Fuji were trying to bridge the gap, but eventually they sat up, letting the advantage grow up to over 7 minutes.
Alan Banaszek didn’t want to wait for the sprint and on categorized hill in Sandomierz pulled away alongside Michał Podlaski (Voster), Paweł Cieślik and Josef Cerny (both Elkov-Author). He managed to get 1 bonus second at the top (it was also an intermediate sprint) and in Tarnobrzeg added another 3 seconds. The youngster was very active late in the race, but this time it didn’t result into top 3 spot at the line. He finished 6th, while Alois Kankvsky (Elkov-Author) grabbed the win. He outsprinted Johim Ariesen (Metec-TKH) and Mateusz Komar (Voster). Thanks to 4 seconds gained during the stage, Banaszek kept the yellow jersey. He sits 2 seconds ahead of Ariesen.
Unfortunately Jonas Koch had to abandon the race, after a dangerous-looking crash. Thankfully he didn’t suffer serious injuries.