Tour of Poland: Hectic Bunch Sprint on Stage 230. July 2017, Katowice (POL) — Road Team
The finale to Tour of Poland stage 2 bore a striking resemblance to yesterday with Daniel Oss on the attack on the final circuit before the race ultimately came down to a hectic bunch sprint with Floris Gerts in the mix before Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) eventually took the win.
Once again, a breakaway went clear early in Poland with four riders forging ahead at the front of the race and extending an advantage that stabilized at around 2’40” after less than 40km of racing.
Going through the day’s intermediate sprint, with 80km, of the 142km course, to go, Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi) launched a solo mission at the front of the race and quickly distanced himself from his early breakaway companions. However, the bunch, led by the sprinters’ team, kept the race under control and never allowed Kurek’s advantage to reach beyond 3’30”.
The chase began to heat up inside 50km go, with the pace picking up and Kurek being pulled back quickly with the gap brought down to under one minute before the catch was ultimately made just 10km later.
Almost immediately, Paweł Bernas (Poland) tried his luck by attacking off the front of the peloton and extending a lead of around 30 seconds with two laps of the 17km circuit around Katowice to go.
The sprinters’ teams looked determined to set the stage for another bunch sprint, and the race was eventually brought back together as the final bell rang. But it wasn’t going to be a straightforward run into the line for them as Oss went on the attack and was able to put daylight between himself and the bunch for the second consecutive day.
After another strong effort at the head of the race, Oss was pulled back in the closing 10km of the race, and despite further attacks, it was altogether going under the flamme rouge as the stage was set for another fast finale.
It was a hectic battle for position in the closing meters of the race, and as the final sprint was launched, it was Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) who was in the best position to power towards the line and take the stage win.
After trying his luck in the bunch sprint, Gerts was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider, crossing the line in 13th place while the rest of team finished safely as the race heads to steeper terrains on stage 3 tomorrow.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I had some room to go for the sprint today, and after a really hard VOO Tour de Wallonie, I wanted to save myself a little bit and not go in the early breakaway when we knew it would end in a sprint anyway. I think it is always good to give it a go because you learn a lot from it. Every day I am feeling better and more confident. Today, I was in a good position with 1km to go and then we went downhill towards the line. There was a moment when I think I should have tried to go and after that, I got a little boxed in. But sometimes you have to play a little bit of poker in these sprints, and even if you are not a top sprinter, there are always moments where you can time it well and go for a good result. It wasn’t the result I hoped for, but I felt good, and I wanted to try something and more importantly, I enjoyed it.”
Sports Director, Max Sciandri:
“Once again, our main focus today was to stay safe and to protect our GC ambitions. It wasn't a dangerous circuit, but as we saw yesterday, you never know what might happen. Floris Gerts gave it a try on his own in the sprint, and then we saw Daniel Oss trying to do a flyer a couple of times. It didn’t happen for us, but it was definitely good for morale. When you don’t have a sprinter on stages like these, it’s good to have a couple of other objectives, and from tomorrow it’s a totally different race. It will be a key stage for us and those looking at the overall General Classification.”
Tour of Poland
Stage 2: Tarnowskie Góry > Katowice, 142km
Top 3: 1. Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) 2. Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) 3. Maximillian Walscheid (Team Sunweb)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 13. Floris Gerts 44. Ben Hermans 74. Dylan teuns