Tour de Pologne: Van Poppel wins chaotic stage to Rzeszów

Due to punchy course, heat and storm late in the race, stage 5 caused a lot of chaos in the bunch. “Riders in orange” didn’t cope well with such conditions, finishing far in the standings.

Info: 2nd of August, Olimp Nagawczyna – Rzeszów, 130km

Course: undulating (three cat. 2, one cat. 3 climbs)


How it unfolded

On stage 5 heat didn’t stop bothering the riders, as the temperatures were reaching 36-37 degrees. At least the distance to cover on that day was “only” 130km, so there was around 3 hours of suffering awaiting.

Alan Banaszek didn’t sign the start list in the morning, as he left the race for Denmark, to compete in the U23 European Championships.

The beginning of the stage was uphill and five riders took advantage of that terrain breaking clear. Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Moreno Moser (Astana), Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) opened up around 3-minute lead.

Monfort was the strongest on the uphill roads, winning three KOMs and taking away the magenta jersey from Paterski.

The gap started to go down inside final 50km. The same happened with the temperatures, as it began to rain. That also meant that the streets were slippery. Things got tricky and dangerous. Schachmann was one of the victims of the conditions, crashing in the corner, at high speed.

Van Garderen tried to do something on the last categorized climb of the day, but his move was neutralized with 3km remaining. He got caught by a group of around 40-50 riders, which included Michal Schlegel.

When it was 1,2km to go another accident happened, this time in the main group. Few riders, who were sitting in 10-12 position in the bunch, went down. 10 guys in the front tackled the corner unharmed and among them was Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) who claimed his first stage win in the race. He bested Luka Mezgec (ORICA-Scott) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Slovakian retained his leader jersey.

Michal Schlegel was the team’s top finisher, taking 41st (same time as the winner).