Maciej Paterski put up a fight for the leader’s jerseys, while Alan Banaszek contested the final sprint on stage 1 of Tour de Pologne.
Info: stage 1, 29th of July, Kraków – Kraków, 130km
How it unfolded
One of the first breakaways attempt went clear and Maciej Paterski made sure he’s part of that move. He joined Paweł Bernas (Poland), Martijn Keizer (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk) and together they gained over 3 minutes on the bunch.
There were two categorized hills (cat. 4) on the menu. Even though there were just two points up for grabs, they were going to determine who will put on the KOM jersey after the stage. Keizer won both uphill sprints and after the second one him and Maciej Paterski created a gap and decided to go away.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider did most of the work in that duo and was unable to answer Kreizer’s attack for intermediate sprint. The Dutchman won that sprint too, securing the lead in most combative classification. Maciej Paterski, who was the last one to get caught with 15km to go, will wear that jersey on tomorrow’s stage though.
I felt strong today, can’t complain about that. I gave everything I had, to the point where I couldn’t keep up with the bunch in the end. Too bad that that effort didn’t result in a jersey and a trip onto the podium – Maciej Paterski explained.
The peloton was all together entering the laps in Cracow and it stayed that way until the finish. Inside final kilometer there was crash, which happened just in front of the group, which took down few riders (excluding CCC Sprandi Polkowice runners).
Alan Banaszek’s sprint wasn’t interrupted by that accident, but he got closed in in the finale and was unable to go full speed towards the line. He finished 13th, while Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) took the stage and overall lead.
I didn’t feel very well throughout the entire stage. Also in the end, my legs were not as strong as I would wish. Had I felt better, I would have also positioned myself better. Sure, I was blocked and I might have lost few places because of that, but the legs were not there anyway. Hopefully it will change tomorrow – Alan Banaszek said afterwards.
Stage 2 will take the riders from Tarnowskie Góry to Katowice and will most likely end with a downhill bunch sprint.