Łukasz Owsian and Michal Schlegel made their presence known in Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia, by riding in the breakaway of the day. The former finished the race in 22th place.
Info: February 10th, Beniel – Murcia, 208,3km
Course: hilly (Alto de Cieza – cat. 3, at 68km; Alto de Zarzadilla – cat. 2, at 119km; Alto Collado Bermejo – cat. 1, at 146.km)
It was not your typical opening of the race, as strong and big breakaway was formed with around 35km into the competition. It included two of CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders – Łukasz Owsian and Michal Schlegel, as well as some big names, such as Eduardo Sepulveda (Movistar), Michael Valgren (Astana), Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels, (Quick Step Floors), and Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin).
Astana was not fully satisfied with the composition of the escape and was leading the chase.
On Alto de Zarzadilla (cat. 2) the leading group broke in pieces and both Schlegel and Owsian lost contact with the leaders. Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Gilbert, Serry (Quickstep), Vanspeybroucke (Wanty) were the first ones to reach the summit and at that point they had 2:30 lead over the bunch.
Last and the hardest climb of the day, Alto Collado Bermejo – cat. 1, saw a solo attack launched by Gilbert. He was caught by the Spanish duo – Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who pulled away from the remnants of the peloton. They dropped Belgian and arrived at the line together. Sanchez won the battle for the win, Valverde was 2nd and Gilbert 3rd.
Due to unusual way the race unfolded and hard course, only 39 riders completed the event. There were two CCC Sprandi Polkowice in that group, with Owsian finishing in 22nd and Kamil Gradek in 34th.