It was a perfect Tour of Croatia opener for CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Grega Bole and Maciej Paterski took impressive one-two, as the Slovenian claimed his first victory of the season.
The credit for this win should be given to all of my teammates since they put on great performance. We controlled most of the race and in the last 20 kilometers our entire squad was riding at the head of the bunch. Because of that great teamwork I was able to start the sprint in a comfortable position. The finale was quite dangerous, it was twisting and slippery, as few riders behind us went down. Thanks to the fact that me and Maciej Paterski, who gave me the lead-out, tackled the corners in a first two positions in the group, we managed to stay out of trouble and take the win. It’s my first victory of the season and it should boost my confidence and morale – Grega Bole said afterwards.
Maciej Paterski, who finished 2nd, also kicked off the stage in a impressive way. He jumped away early on, created some gap and won the first KOM of the race. After the summit he was caught and new escape attempts occurred. Four riders managed to make the breakaway of the day – Łukasz Bodnar (ActiveJet), Michele Gazzara (MG.Kvis Vega), Marco Tizza (Team Idea 2010 ASD), Jordi Simon (Team Ecuador). When the gap increased to over 5 minutes, Sylwester Szmyd and Branislau Samoilau decided to counterattack alongside 5 other runners. They tried to bridge the gap, but the closer they got to the escape, the strongest pace was set by the peloton. The chasing group was reeled in with 45 km to go, when the advantage of the leading four was only 35 seconds.
After that, the bunch slightly slowed down for a moment, giving the escapees a chance to raise the lead. The moment didn’t last very long though. The pace picked up when riders began to pull away from the big group. Among them was Jarosław Marycz and Marek Rutkiewicz.
The last two riders from the initial break who got caught were Łukasz Bodnar and Jordi Simon, with 25km to go. Later Michael Gogl tried a solo move but the CCC Sprandi Polkowice didn’t let him go away to far. On final 10km it was all about the orange colors in the front of the peloton.
The very finale also belonged to the Polkowcie-based squad. Maciej Paterski was the lead-out man for Grega Bole. The duo entered the decisive part of the race in first two positions in the group and maintained them all the way to the line. On the sharp turns and slippery road few riders who were fighting for positioning crashed. Bole and Paterski safely got to the finish, making it one-two for the CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Bole finished first and Paterski second. Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) took third. For Bole it was sixth race this season where he claimed Top 5 place, but first where he grabbed the victory.
Tomorrow’s stage from Šibenik to Zadar, which is 180km long, is flat and should end with a bunch sprint as well.
Results of stage 1 of Tour of Croatia, Makarska – Split, 160km
1. Grega Bole (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
2. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
3. Marko Kump (Adria Mobil)
47. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
48. Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
52. Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
67. Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
97. Bartłomiej Matysiak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:29
102. Jarosław Marycz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 2:10