Tour de Pologne, Stage 5: Hermans Fifth6. August 2015, Zakopane (POL) — Road Team
Ben Hermans of the BMC Racing Team was fifth on Thursday's uphill finish at the Tour de Pologne to replace teammate Marcus Burghardt in fourth place overall with two days of the race to go.
Hermans finished in a small group seven seconds after solo stage winner Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal), who also took the overall lead. Hermans, winner of Brabantse Pijl and the last stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, said he was not thinking of the overall.
"I just wanted to do this as a classic," he said. "It was really hard just before the last 20 kilometers, with two hard climbs. I marked Astana with Fabio Aru and Sky with Sergio Henao."
With 10 kilometers left in the 223-kilometer race, Hermans found himself in a small breakaway when the reduced peloton split.
"I thought this was a good move, but they came back and then De Clercq countered," he said. "I was thinking the group I was in would organize and close the gap, but they didn't."
Burghardt, who had steadily worked his way up the standings through the first four stages despite being heavily involved in a crash at the finish line on Stage 2 Monday, finished with the group that was 30:17 behind.
Hermans said he will also approach Friday's 174 km stage – which has a profile resembling the teeth of a buzz saw – exactly as he did on Thursday. He is nine seconds off the overall lead.
"It is another classic," he said. "Then we will see where we are and what I can do in the time trial. I am confident of my form. We will see how I recover and the tactics and which teams will control."
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