Tour of Slovakia: Great teamwork helps Tratnik keep the lead and finish 2nd on the stage

It was another great teamwork showcased by CCC Sprandi Polkowice in Tour of Slovakia, which resulted in 2nd place in the sprint for Jan Tratnik and defending his yellow jersey. 

Info: Stage 2, June 9th, Banská Bystrica – Nitra, 172km

Course: hilly, final 70km flat


How it unfolded

On the first, categorized climb of the day, with around 30km into the stage, two riders went clear – Ricardo Vilella (Manzana Postobon) and Egan Bernal (Androni). The presence of the former was quite surprising as he was ranked 6th overall.

They established 3-minute gap before the next ascent to Salamandra, the hardest on the menu, and extended it to 4 minutes at the top. In the demanding terrain Amore & Vita – Selle SMP presented by FONDRIES duo, Marco Zamparella and Redi Halilaj decided to bridge across. Their attempt was successful and the leading escape expanded to 4 riders.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice was pacing the bunch and closing in on the leaders, who were an actual GC threat. Their effort was materialized by catching the attackers few kilometers before the line and positioning Tratnik for the sprint. He was able to finish it off with 2nd place at the line and was beaten only by Matteo Malucelli (Androni). Slovenian not only retained his jersey, but also added to his advantage over Josef Cerny (Elkov-Author).

Piotr Brożyna defended his white jersey of youth classification leader as well, coming in in the main pack.

My legs were very good today and we had everything under control. My teammates did an amazing job, protecting me, setting the pace in the peloton and chasing the breakaway. In the end I was very well positioned, but I started the sprint too late and wasn’t able to overtake the winner. I’m very happy about today, since we rode great as a team and we defended the overall lead – Jan Tratnik said afterwards.