Race of Solidarity and the Olympians: Banaszek nearly victorious on the opening stage

Alan Banaszek sprinted to 2nd place on the opening stage of Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc et des Champions Olympiques (2.2). 

Info: 28 June, Łódź – Zduńska Wola, 86,8km

Course: flat

Due to short distance – only 86 kilometers – the pace was high right from the start. Intermediate sprint located with just 6km into the stage made the peloton ride even faster, as many riders wanted to grab time bonuses. Frantisek Sisr was one of them, taking 3rd place in Pabianice.

The rest of the stage saw many attacks, but the bunch was not letting anyone go. Sisr was aggressive throughout the entire race, trying to break clear also in the final 30 kilometers. All that effort was neutralized by the main group though and it came down to a bunch gallop.

20-year old Alan Banaszek just missed out on a victory, sprinting to 2nd place, only behind Grzegorz Stępniak (Wibatech 7r Fuji). Johim Ariesen (Metec-TKH) rounded out the podium.

My teammates did a fantastic job of bringing me to the line in a comfortable position. In the end I took a big risk, since I kicked off the sprint with 300m to go. It didn’t pay off the way I had hoped, as I was outsprinted by Grzegorz Stępniak – Alan Banaszek explains.

Youth classification leader, Banaszek will wear white points classification jersey (he sits in 2nd behind Stępniak) on the evening stage from Tomaszów Mazowiecki to Kielce (121,3km).