CCC Polsat Polkowice has proven to be the most active team in the peleton of 71. Tour de Pologne. For the second time in this race Maciej Paterski went into the breakaway of the day and took over the pink jersey. In addition to that, Marek Rutkiewicz moved up in the general classification to 7th, after good performance on mountain stage.
The 190km stage from Zakopane to Štrbské Pleso in Slovakia was the first test for GC contenders. They had to face 5 categorized climbs and an uphill finish. Paterski planned to attack on this day and he managed to break clear early on, with 7 other riders – Jimmy Engoulvent (Team Europcar), Sebastian Lander (BMC), Yaroslav Popovych (Trek), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Marco Haller (Katusha), Hugo Houle (AG2R) and Pawel Bernas (Poland). Their maximum advantage reached almost 4 minutes.
Paterski won both mountain primes (cat. 2 and 3) before entering three 25km finishing circuits, all containing the category 1 climb. When the leading group tackled the ascent to Štrbské Pleso for the first time Paterski accelerated and only Lander was able to keep up the pace. CCC Polsat Polkowice rider won cat. 1 KOM and was almost certain that will again put on the pink jersey on the podium.
After they hit the top of the climb the peleton was very close. This is when few riders decided to bridge the gap, creating 16 man breakaway. One of the was Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge). On the second ascent Meier went solo and other escapees were caught. Marek Rutkiewicz was among those who wanted to join him but eventually everyone in the front was pulled back to the bunch.
It came down the the uphill sprint from the 40-man group. Polish sensation from Tour de France, Rafał Majka turned out to be the strongest and claimed the win. That was first Polish victory in Tour de Pologne after 10 years when Marek Rutkiewicz won in Karpacz.
In Srbske Pleso Rutkiewicz came in 20th and moved up to 7th in the general classification. Paterski finished the stage with 21 points in the KOM classification and accepted king of the mountains jersey on the podium.
Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma Quick Step) remained in yellow and is 1 second ahead of Majka overall.
Results of stage 5, Zakopane – Srbske Pleso (190 km);
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 4:30:38
2. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
3. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
20. Marek Rutkiewicz
26. Davide Rebellin 0:12
43. Tomasz Marczynski 0:38
45. Branislau Samiolau 0:48
95. Maciej Paterski 9:26
118. Grzegorz Stepniak 18:32
120. Bartlomiej Matysiak
153. Mateusz Taciak 31:08