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Ruta del Sol: Mrożek came close to stage success

In his second race in the orange colors, Marcin Mrożek put in impressive performance in the opening stage of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol. He was a part of the day’s main breakaway, which was caught only 2 kilometers from the line. 

We went full gas at the beginning. I waited until 10km mark until I made my first move. After few attempts I was able to break clear – Marcin Mrożek said afterwards. – We did a solid work in the break, to create an advantage. When it reached the right level we took a foot off the gas to save some energy for the finale. With 25 kilometers to go we slowed down a little bit, and 13 kilometers later we pushed the pace again. In the end I was hoping we can go all the way, but when Tinkoff started to pull, we realized that our chances are slim. I feel that I’m in good shape right now and with every day it should get better. It was my second race in CCC Sprandi Polkowice colors and the atmosphere in the team is great.

Race in Andalusia kicked off with 165-kilometer flat stage from Almonaster la Real to Sevilla. It was expected that it will end with a bunch sprint finish.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were aggressive right from the start. Łukasz Owsian took first KOM (cat.3, at 14km mark) and tried to make the breakaway of the day. He was unable to do it, but his teammate, Marcin Mrożek was in the right place at the right time and got into the escape.

He broke clear with Jerome Baugnies (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Evgeni Shalunov (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Imanol Estevez (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias). They established over 7-minute lead, which leveled out for a relatively long time

The peloton started to chase down hard when it was 60 kilometers left. 40 kilometers later the gap dropped drastically to only 2 minutes and it appeared that the bunch has everything under control and will catch the break in no time. The escapees didn’t want to give up easily though and they entered final 10 kilometers of racing with the advantage of 1:20 over the chasing group. Marcin Mrożek did a lot of work in the front and contributed significantly to maintaining the lead.

When the sprinters’ teams organised themselves, they closed the gap and the CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider, alongside other escapees, was reeled in with 2 kilometers remaining. It came down to a bunch sprint and Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) outsprinted the opposition. Bert van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) came in in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Since the line-up of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Ruta del Sol doesn’t include sprinters, the “riders in orange” arrived outside the top 20.