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Tour de Pologne: Jarosław Marycz in the KOM jersey

Jarosław Marycz was part of the day’s main breakaway in the opening stage of Tour de Pologne and became first leader of the King of the mountains classification.

We knew we had to have at least one representative in the break. Many of us tried to break cut- Michał Paluta, Maciej Paterski, but it was me, who happened to make the escape – Jarosław Marycz said afterwards. – We were aiming KOMs and intermediate sprint, since two jerseys were up for grabs.  At first categorized hill I gave it all to win it. Unfortunately the peloton didn’t let us contest the second KOM. Maciej Paterski remained alert though, attacked to take it and secured the King of the Mountains jersey for our team. We will try to deliver it all the way to end – it doesn’t matter, weather on my shoulders or my teammate’s.

I also tried to win the intermediate sprint, but in the very last moment Fournier passed me. Still, I can be satisfied with the stage. We got the jersey, so the minimal plan was fulfilled.

The 73rd edition of Tour de Pologne kicked off from Radzymin and after 135 kilometers of mostly flat roads, the peloton finished in the center of Warsaw. The last 97 kilometers of the stage were held on a circuit in the Polish capital – the riders faced seven, 13,8km laps. There were two cat. 4 climbs on the menu and one intermediate sprint.

The breakaway of the day went clear soon after the gun. Jarosław Marycz managed to slip into it, as well as Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing), Peter Williams (ONE Pro Cycling), Szymon Rekita (Poland), Marc Fournier (FDJ) and Jonas Koch (Verva AciveJet). The leading six pushed the pace to stretch out the lead to almost 4 minutes, but the peloton started reducing the gap early, to avoid stressful chase on the slippery streets of Warsaw, which got wet after a heavy rain.

When the breakaway’s advantage dropped to around 1:20, with 60km to go, the chances of holding off the bunch were cut down to almost none, but the escapees still could contest the remaining KOMs and intermediate sprint. First categorized hill (cat.4) was won by Jarosław Marycz, taking the virtual King of the Mountain classification lead. He proved to be one of the strongest in the escape, by also claiming 2nd at intermediate sprint.

At that point Rekita was no longer in the front, as he got dropped. Later also De Merchi left the group, but this time it was after an attack. He went away solo, while Marycz and the rest of attackers got caught with 22km to go.

BMC rider was reeled back in before the bunch entered the final circuit. This is also where Maciej Paterski decided to launch an attack. He gained some ground on the field and took 1 point at the categorized climb.

He was giving it all on the road, but the power of the peloton was just too strong. He came back with 8km remaining. After passing 2km banner Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) hit the pedals on a short hill, stretching out the group. Because of that, the stage didn’t end with a regular sprint, but a late attack from the head of the pack made by Davide Martinelli (Etixx Quick Step).

He held off the rest of the field and claimed a win. His teammate, Fernando Gaviria finished behind him while Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEDGE) took third.

Since Marycz and Paterski both arrived with the same time the KOM jersey went to the former. He is just 2 seconds ahead of his colleague in general classification, due to bonus seconds gained at intermediate sprint, earlier in the stage.