Grega Bole claimed 13th place on Stage 4 of Tour de Pologne, which was the first climbing test. It ended with a Polish fest in Nowy Sącz, since Maciej Bodnar took the win and Kamil Zieliński became the new leader of the one-week event.
Both of the winners were part of the three-man escape, which broke clear early on. They were joined by Gatis Smukulis (Katusha). Also Adrian Kurek was trying to bridge the gap, but after three exhausting days in the breaks, he’s legs didn’t allow him to chase too hard. He had to return to the bunch and let go the first breakaway in the race, with no CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider in it.
The trio worked very well together, extending their lead to over 11 minutes. None of the teams was eager to close the gap. At some point Movistar started to pull, reducing the advantage to 8 minutes, but since other teams didn’t join them in those efforts, they slowed down, letting the gap increase back to 10 minutes. In the hilly terrain, the pace in the pack picked up again and after three mountain primes, all won by the new KOM leader, Kamil Zieliński, the differential was at 4 minutes.
The sprinters’ teams put the hammer down on the circuits in Nowy Sącz, but the escapees didn’t give up. The gap was getting smaller, but the reducing process was not fast enough to catch the leaders. When they entered final 1 kilometer, they were still 30 seconds ahead and were certain to fight for the win.
It was Maciej Bodnar who had the most left in his tank. His rivals were not able to respond to his powerfull attack and grabbed a victory, Kamil Zieliński came in 2nd but took over the overall lead. Smukulis was third.
Grega Bole finished 13th and Maciej Paterski arrived in the bunch. He is now 11th overall, 28 seconds behind the leader.