On a long and hot stage 4 of Tour de Pologne, Jan Tratnik covered nearly 230km in the break, while Alan Banaszek sprinted to top 10.
Info: 1st of August, Zawiercie – Zabrze, 238km
Course: flat (one cat. 4 hill, three intermediate sprints)
How it unfolded
For the fourth consecutive time CCC Sprandi Polkowice managed to send one of the boys into the break. On the longest stage of this year’s Tour de Pologne, Jan Tratnik went clear, and was part of 6-man leading group. He was accompanied by Paweł Bernas (Poland), Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors), Nick Dougall (Dimension Data), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Toms Skuijins (Cannondale-Drapac).
Given the distance and the heat (around 35 degrees) the escapees were very cautious with setting the pace, so they don’t bonk to early. They established a solid gap of 6 minutes and kept a steady speed for the rest of the day.
Jan Tratnik was fighting at three intermediate sprints for his teammate, the leader of most active rider classification, Adrian Kurek, so he doesn’t lose his jersey. Unfortunately for the “orange squad” Lindeman was too fast that day, winning two sprints and taking 2nd at the last one of the day, behind Tratnik, who also earned twice 2nd place. Lindeman finished the stage with 10 points, 1 point ahead of Kurek.
The breakaway entered laps in Zabrze with a minute lead and Tratnik was caught with 9km to go – That was the longest break in my life. Almost 230 kilometers in the front – Slovenian summed up. At that point Cavagna was still riding up front, but he was also pulled back in and it came down to a bunch sprint.
I felt good and in the end my teammates did a great job helping me position myself for the finish. I was sitting on Sagan’s wheel, which was a perfect place to be at, but I started the sprint to early. For that reason I’m not fully satisfied with the result, since I think I could have done better – Alan Banaszek explained.
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) notched a stage win, edging out Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) and race leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Maciej Paterski came in safely in the peloton, defending his KOM jersey.