Tour of Małopolska: Kurek wraps up the race with a stage win

Adrian Kurek won the last stage of Tour of Małopolska, thriving out of a breakaway group.

During the pre-stage meeting we had agreed that we need to take risk on the stage and attack early on. After yesterday’s stage our GC chances became very slim, so the only thing there was left for us, was to win the stage. Due to the heat, I had cramps during the second stage and because of that I was eliminated from the fight for good overall result. Today I felt very well. It was also very warm, but we raced little bit higher and the wind was blowing stronger, so it was not so humid – Adrian Kurek said afterwards. – We collaborated well in the breakaway and we really pushed the tempo on the last climb. We knew that the gap has to be at least at 4 minutes at the top to think about going all the way. It was 4:40. The final kilometers were going downhill, but we had to deal with headwind. We maintained strong paced though and we could slowly start to think about the finale, how to outsmart the rivals and take the stage win. With 8 kilometers to go Herklotz made his move. I followed him and when I saw that he’s very tired I took off by myself. I preferred to attack earlier than to wait for the sprint, which is always unpredictable.  I didn’t look back, because I felt I am increasing my lead. Thanks to this victory we can go home satisfied. The raced didn’t play out the way we would like to in terms of general classification, but I am happy that we didn’t give up and finished with a good result.

4 categorized climbs and 140 kilometer distance was on the menu on the final stage of Tour of Małopolska. All the climbing was going to take place in the first part of the race, while the top of the last ascent was located 48 kilometers from the finish.

The “orange squad” decided to attack right from the start. First it was Patryk Stosz who broke clear with six other riders. They gain over 40 seconds of advantage, before the peloton began the hard chase. They were caught, but in another attempt another CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider took part. Adrian Kurek managed to pull away with Silvio Herklotz (Stolting) and Paweł Charucki (Domin Sport), creating almost 5-minute gap.

Before the last climb of the day, to Przełęcz Knurowska, Sergiy Lagkuti (Kolss-BDC) joined the leading trio and when the road started to go uphill, Paweł Charucki lost contact with the group. After the top, with 45 kilometers to go, the advantage was still quite large, at 4 minutes.

Later the bunch picked up the pace but the chase was not strong enough to catch the escapees. In the very end Adrian Kurek decided to make a solo move. His attack turned out to be successful and he claimed his first individual victory in the UCI race, of the season. Second on the stage was Lagkuti with Herklotz in third.

Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) retained his overall lead and claimed the win in the final general classification ahead of Vitaliy Buts (Kolss-BDC) and Martin Gron (Riwal). Leszek Pluciński was the team’s highest ranked rider – he finished three-day event in 17th, 24 seconds back.