On the “queen stage” of Tour de Pologne Maciej Paterski won 5 out of 8 category 1 climbs and claimed king of the mountains jersey. Marek Rutkiewicz finished in 12th place and remains in Top10 in GC.
174km stage around Bukowina Tatrzanska was the last chance for the climbers to gain some time in the general classification before Saturday’s individual time trial. It was also an opportunity for those riders who wanted to win the king of the mountain jersey.
Maciej Paterski was wearing the pink jersey at the start and was very eager to maintain it. The key was to get into the breakaway of the day. It was not an easy task since the pace on the opening three laps in Zakopane was extremely fast. Nobody was able to break clear until the first ascent to Zab. This is where Paterski attacked and 7 other riders fallowed – Sergey Lagutin (RusVelo), Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Sergey Chernetsky (Katusha), Johannes Frohlinger (Giant-Shimano), Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Davide Malacarne (Europcar). They worked well togheter creating almost 5 minute lead.
The race was held on the 35km circuit with two category 1 climbs – in Zab and Gliczarow. In total there were 8 KOMs. Paterski won five of them, was 2nd on the sixth one and 4th on the seventh, sealing his lead in the mountain classification.
With 60km to go, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) counter attacked from the bunch. He was trying to jump over to the leading group but got stuck between the escapees and the peleton. Eventually he was caught on the next to the last lap.
On the penultimate climb Meier, Vuillermoz and Caruso attacked and left remaining breakaway riders (includin Paterski) behind. They didn’t stay up front to long since the Tinkoff-Saxo team set high pace and brought them back in.
On the last categorized climb in Gliczarow Majka accelerated forming 8 man group. Marek Rutkiewicz and Davide Rebellin were not able to fallow them but they joined the leaders on the descent.
Majka repeated his move on the last hill to the finish in Bukowina Tatrzanska. This time nobody could stay with him and Tinkoff-Saxo rider got his 4th UCI WorldTour victory in just 3 weeks. Two Movistar riders crossed the line after him – Benat Intxausti and Jon Izaguirre, losing 10 seconds. Marek Rutkiewicz was 12th 27 seconds back. Davide Rebellin finished the stage in 20th position (1:10).
Majka is leading in the GC and is 18 and 22 seconds ahead of the Movistar duo. Rutkiewicz is 10th – 47 seconds behind Majka and 25 behind Izaguirre, who is 3rd.
Results of stage 6, Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa – Bukowina Tatrzanska (174 km):
1. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) 4:40:58
2. Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 0:10
3. Ion Izaguirre (Movistar)
12. Marek Rutkiewicz 0:27
20. Davide Rebellin 01:11
45. Tomasz Marczynski
48. Branislau Samoilau
53. Maciej Paterski 11:15
113. Mateusz Taciak
124. Grzegorz Stepniak 31:34
DNF Bartlomiej Matysiak
General classification after stage 6:
1. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) 29:46:17
2. Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 0:18
3. Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) 0:22
10. Marek Rutkiewicz 0:47
19. Davide Rebellin 1:43
41. Tomasz Marczynski 11:33
42. Branislau Samoilau 11:43
59. Maciej Paterski 20:56
120. Grzegorz Stepniak 50:26
133. Mateusz Taciak 1:03:41