Ruta del Sol: Two CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders in top 15 in ITT

Jan Tratnik took 9th and Kamil Gradek 14th place in individual time trial to wrap up stage race Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol.

Info: Stage 5, February 18th, Barbate – Barbate, 14,2km (ITT)

Course: flat, with dirt road section

The course was mostly flat, but included a gentle hill with dirt road section, which made things a little bit more interesting.

Kamil Gradek was one of the early starters and was also one of the fastest. He covered the 14,2-kilometer stretch in 17:48 and spent some time in the hot seat. Dylan Van Baarle (Team Sky) was the one, who took over that position, after recording 17:23.

Jan Tratnik went even faster that Gradek, setting the time of 17:35. That put him in 2nd place after crossing the line (behind new leader Davide De La Cruz), pushing his teammate down to 3rd.

At the end of the day Slovenian finished this race against the clock in 9th (24s back), while Kamil Gradek claimed 14th (37s off the pace). After Amaro Antunes was forced to abandon the race, because of the bruises suffered on stage 3, Łukasz Owsian was the highest placed CCC Sprandi Polkowice in final GC, in 39th place.

I felt good today although I think that I could have done even better. I got off to a solid start and early on I did everything that I had planned. But when I got on the dirt road section, I hit a pothole and that caused my handlebar to drop down. My positioned changed and I couldn’t sit comfortably, pushing high watts. It was a very difficult TT and you needed some luck on those gravel roads, to finish on the podium. Unfortunately I didn’t have that luck today and I lost my rhythm – Jan Tratnik said afterwards.

Davide De La Cruz (Team Sky) won the last stage, while Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) defended his lead and claimed the general classification.