After an ambitious battle in the breakaway, Michał Paluta became first leader of Kings of the Mountains and Best Polish Rider classification of 75th Tour de Pologne. In addition, Paweł Franczak sprinted into top 10 in Krakow.
Info: August 4th, Krakow – Krakow, 133,7km
Michal Paluta went soon after the gun, alongside Alessandro De Marchi and Michał Podlaski. Later on Stephane Rossatto bridged to the trio, creating a 4-man main escape. They established nearly 4-minute gap.
Paluta won first and only special sprint in Lanckorona, as well as all two cat.3 KOMs, securing King of the Mountains jersey after stage 1. To top it off he also fought at intermediate sprint and got 2nd, gaining 2 seconds of bonification. That helped him in terms of classification of the Polish Rider with the highest place in GC.
That was the plan, to get in the breaks and fight at KOM’s and intermediate sprint. We almost materialized that plan fully. Almost, since I had some bad luck in the sprint, as I was sitting on Michał Podlaski’s wheel, when his chain dropped. That threw me off the rhythm. I still managed to get 2 bonus seconds though which helped me end the stage in 5th place overall and move our team car higher in the race convoy – says Michał Paluta.
That fact that I got to stand on the podium to accept the jerseys means a lot to me. Tour de Pologne is a very prestigious race and the most important one for our squad, so we want to showcase ourselves. It’s an event which I watched growing up, so to take the lead in KOM and Best Polish Rider classification is something special to me.
His breakaway was brought back in on the finishing circuits in Kraków and it was all decided in a field sprint. Paweł Franczak was CCC Sprandi Polkowice man for the finish and he took 10th at the line.
I was around 10th place with 300m to go. When I wanted to accelerate I was hit by a headwind and couldn’t overtake my more bulky rivals – Paweł Franczak explains.