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Tour de Pologne: Owsian in the break, Marycz still in pink

Łukasz Owsian made it into the breakaway of the day in stage 2 of Tour of Pologne, while Jarosław Marycz kept the King of the Mountains jersey.

On the second day of the competition the peloton faced 153-kilometer course from Tarnowskie Góry to Katowice. The capital of Silesia has been on the race’s map for the last few years and it’s known for its circuit and a downhill finish. It was also the case this time, as there were five, 14,7km laps in the city and a super-fast bunch sprint expected

The stage kicked off with very fast pace and many breakaway attempts. Nobody was able to break clear in the first hour though. Just before intermediate sprint in Piekary Śląskie 10-man group went away. There were some of the GC favorites involved in that move – Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Bob Jungels (Etixx Quick Step) or Simon Yates (Orica Bike Exchange) among others. The latter won the sprint, taking 3 points and 3 bonus seconds.

The mission for those riders was completed, so they returned to the bunch, opening the race for next escapees. In another attempt Maciej Paterski and Michał Paluta took part, but their group was not let go. Eventually a 5-man break went clear and it included CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider – Łukasz Owsian. He was joined in the front by Bakhtiyar Kozhataiyev (Astana), Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling), Jonas Koch (VERVA Activejet), Artur Detko (Polish National Team). They collaborated evenly establishing 2-minute gap.

Two cat. 4 climbs were locate at the circuit. First of them was taken by Łukasz Owsian, extending the winning streak of the “orange squad” at the KOMs to three (after Jarosław Marycz and Maciej Paterski won it during stage 1). He was also 3rd twice at intermediate sprints, collecting 2 points and 2 bonus seconds, but was unable to contest the last KOM of the day, since Aregger took off alone on a penultimate lap.

With 22km to go Owsian got caught, as well as Koch and Detko. Only IAM Cycling rider was still in the lead, but his journey in the break ended 7 kilometers further.

It was all together until the finish, as the sprinters’ teams controlled the pace. The sprint in Katowice is usually one of the fastest in cycling and this time was not any different. Fernando Gaviria (Etixx Quick Step) recorded the highest speed going down the ascending road and took the win. He outsprinted Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Caleb Ewan (Orica Bike Exchange).

Jarosław Marycz came in 18th and retained the King of the Mountains jersey. Both Paterski and Owsian also have 1 point in the classification, but Marycz is higher in the general standings.