Mateusz Taciak took 3rd place in the opener of Tour of Małopolska. Dariusz Batek claimed a stage win and got the overall lead.
After yesterdays criterium „Gold Ring of Cracow”, the riders faced stage 1 of 3-day competition. It was 131 kilometers long and took the peloton from Trzebinia to Alwernia. The course was quite undulating and many scenarios were taken into consideration.
First hour of racing was filled with attacks and Marcin Mrożek was one of the most aggressive riders in that part of the race. None of the groups went clear though. The pack started to split when race favorites decided to launch their missiles. Among those who accelerated were Davide Rebellin and Łukasz Owsian. They were joined in that action by Marek Rutkiewicz, Jacek Morajko (both Wibatech Fuji), Matteo Fabbro (Team Friuli A.S.D), Kamil Zieliński (Domin Sport) and Rasmus Mygind (Rival Platform Cycling Team).
The peloton didn’t let such a strong escape go and the attackers were forced to return to the field. Soon after another move was made by the next CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider. This time it was Mateusz Taciak’s turn to take off, as he broke away with Dariusz Batek (Wibatech Fuji). They were followed by Domen Novak (Adria Mobil), Andrii Bratashchuck (Kolss BDC) and Roberto Giacobazzi (Team Friuli A.S.D). Both groups merged with 15km to go. At that point they had a solid, nearly 3-minute advantage over the chasers.
The finale was hilly and it featured punchy finish. That shattered the leading group and Batek and Giacobazzi managed to create a small gap over Taciak. Wibatech Fuji rider won the 2-man sprint and took over the leader jersey. The Italian was 2nd and CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider claimed 3rd, becoming also the leader of King of the Mountain classification.
Davide Rebellin was able to finish inside the top 10 as well, taking 6th place.
Tomorrow’s stage 2 will take riders from Niepołomice to Nowy Targ (144km), which is located in the Podhale highlands. It should include even longer and harder climbs.