Adrian Kurek did an individual time trial on stage 2, winning three intermediate sprints and taking over the most combative rider jersey of Tour de Pologne.
Info: stage 2, 30th of July, Tarnowskie Góry – Katowice, 142km
How it unfolded
After yesterday’s move by Maciej Paterski, this time it was Adrian Kurek’s turn to get into the breakaway. He pulled away just after the gun, alongside Kamil Gradek (Poland), Martijn Keizer (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Joonas Henittala (Novo Nordisk). They established over 3 minutes of advantage.
With three intermediate sprints and two KOM’s on the menu, the escapees’ focus was set on the points and the leaders’ jerseys of two classifications – most active and mountains. That was the reason why Adrian Kurek decided to launch a solo attack 3 kilometers from the intermediate sprint. His breakaway companions didn’t react and that was the beginning of his “individual time trial”. He soloed through three sprints and secured the most combative rider jersey.
With enormous heat and effort by CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider, he was unable to hold off chasing peloton and was caught with around 40km to go, on the laps in Katowice. Outside few solo attempts late in the race, the group stayed all together until the finish.
The finishing straight in Katowice is known for the fact, that it’s gently downhill and sprinters record over 82km/h at the line. It was also the case this time and Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) hit the finish with the highest speed. He outsprinted new leader, Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) and Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb).
Maciej Paterski was trying to lead out Alan Banaszek, but eventually it was him who was the team’s top finisher, taking 24th.
I felt good today, but not great – Adrian Kurek said afterwards. – We had decided with my DS to attack 2-3 kilometers from the first intermediate sprint, since we had learned the day before that Keizer is very fast and it will be hard to beat him in a sprint. I attacked as hard as I could and other escapees didn’t respond. I started an individual race, which was not an easy thing to do in such heat. My goal was to win all three intermediate sprints and than arrive at the line in the bunch, to move up into the top 10 in GC. I managed to fulfill the first goal, but not the second. I cramped on the final hill, just before the finish and lost contact with the group. Now I will try to add some more points to my account and deliver the jersey all the way to Bukowina Tatrzańska.