Maciej Paterski was battling for the stage win on the last day of Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol. He arrived at the line in a successful breakaway and nearly missed out on the podium.
Info: February 19th, stage 5, Setenil de las Bodegas (Cádiz) – Coín (Málaga), 151,5km
Weather: cloudy, rainy
I felt great at the start line and I knew that I’m physically and mentally ready for the battle. The profile suited me and the riders I was riding in the break with were perfect for outpacing the peloton. I felt very good throughout the entire stage and everything was going according to the plan. In the end I was able to respond to my rivals’ attacks and I knew that if I stay with the strongest until the last KOM I will have a chance in the sprint. There were two roundabouts in the last kilometer and I tackled both of them from too far back. That was the mistake I had to pay for at the line. This is where I lost the sprint. To lose that opportunity hurts, but I can be satisfied with my form – Maciej Paterski said after the stage.
The breakaway with Maciej Paterski was established on the opening climb, which started right after the kilometer 0. CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider went clear alongside Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias), Victor Campenaerts (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), Marco Minnaard (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Domen Novak (Bahrain Merida), Nick van der Lijke (Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). They quickly gained almost 5 minutes of advantage.
Paterski was contributing to escape’s work and felt quite strong on the climbs. He was 2nd at cat. 3 KOM to Puerto del Viento and won at Puerto de las Abejas (also cat.3). The escapees dug deep in the hilly terrain and extended their lead to 6:15 with 75km to go.
The leaders were not slowing down, and since few strong UCI World Tour teams had their representatives in the front, there were not too many squads interested in closing the gap. The escape entered the final 25km with 3 minutes of advantage.
Eventually the strongest 6 riders from the break, including Paterski, arrived at the line with a safe advantage and could play a little cat-and-mouse game in the end. Nobody was able to go clear and the sprint decided who will take the win.
Paterski kicked from the second to last position and crossed the line, just outside the top 3, in 4th place. Tim Wellens was the fastest, edging out Clarke and Campenaerts.
Alejandro Valverde (Mositar) secured his overall win, beating Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). Michał Schlegel was CCC Sprandi Polkowice highest ranked rider in GC – 23rd place.