Stępniak wins the general classification of Tour of Estonia

Grzegorz Stępniak won the general classification of Tour of Estonia and finished 4th on the last stage.

We worked extremely well today as a team. The plan was to take the first intermediate sprint and we managed to materialize the plan. We were not able to take the stage victory, which is a pitty since I wanted to win it for my teammates. I made a mistake in the finale. What’s the most important is the fact, that we took the overall and I am very grateful to the entire squad for that – Grzegorz Stępniak, who last time triumphed in the stage event in 2015 at Mazovia Tour, said afterwards.

The second and decisive stage was held on the streets of Tartu, on a 9,6-kilometer circuit, which was tackled as many as 15 times. In total there were 144 kilometers to cover. The course was fast, with only one short, punchy hill.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice approached the stage with one goal, defend the jersey, worn by Grzegorz Stępniak. For that reason, “riders in orange” were setting the pace for most of the race, didn’t let anybody go clear early and helped GC leader take the intermediate sprint.

It was impossible to keep the bunch all together for the whole stage, as 4 riders managed to create some gap. Kamil Gradek (Verva ActiveJet), Marco Mathis (Germany), Sergey Nikolaev (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk) broke clear and established around 40-second gap. It remained at that level for a long time and CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders did most of the work at the head of the pack, controlling the advantage.

The escape got reeled back in with 25km to go and the last one to catch was Mathis, who tried a solo move. Polkowice-based squad was pacing the field also on the last two laps.

The stage was decided in a bunch sprint finish. Grzegorz Stępniak took 4th place at the line, and Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo) claimed a win. Since Russian was outside the podium the day before, CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider could celebrate overall victory.