Tour of Poland Stage 5: Van Garderen Tests his Legs, Oss Sprints to Seventh2. August 2017, Rzeszów (POL) — Road Team
Tejay van Garderen led the charge for BMC Racing Team on Tour of Poland stage 5, riding as part of the breakaway before launching a late solo attack while Daniel Oss was the team’s best-placed rider after securing a top ten finish in the chaotic sprint to the line.
The road rose from KM 0 on stage 5 with the breakaway forming from the first attack of the day as five riders, including van Garderen, went clear and began to build up an advantage over the rest of the field inside the opening 10km, of the 130km course.
The leaders’ advantage continued to rise steadily, and as they began the second half of the stage, which included all four of the day’s categorized climbs, the van Garderen-led group was comfortably sitting three minutes up the road.
Heading over the top of the first climb, the Gmina Lubenia, the gap was holding steady but with 60km still to race and a fast downhill run into the finish expected, the peloton began to pick up the pace and slowly pull the leading group back.
The breakaway continued to work well together as they headed up the penultimate climb, the Łany, however, with peloton chasing hard behind, the five riders had been pulled to within 1’30” as they went over the summit with 33km to go.
On the flatter terrain before the final climb, the rain began to fall heavily, bouncing off the road with van Garderen leading the breakaway over the finish line to start the final 22.5km circuit around Rzeszów and the pace of the peloton slowing slightly to allow the gap to settle for a moment at 1’20”.
With the roads drying out, the peloton reignited their chase, and as the road began to rise again, the leaders were in sight with gap inside 30 seconds as van Garderen attacked on the steepest part of the climb, 12.5km from the finish line.
Van Garderen gritted his teeth and continued to push on at the front of the race, going solo over the summit and onto the fast descent with a lead of 20 seconds before digging deep to hold onto this advantage heading under the 5km to go mark.
However, with a motivated chase behind, and a potential bunch sprint on the horizon, he was eventually caught with less than 3km to go as a chaotic battle for position began.
A crash on a corner with around 1km to go, saw a split in the bunch with 12 riders, including Oss, making the front selection and going head to head in a reduced bunch sprint with Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) eventually taking the win and Oss crossing the line seventh.
After being protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates all day, Dylan Teuns crossed the line safely to maintain his position on the General Classification, 14 seconds behind Peter Sagan (Bora - hansgrohe) heading into tomorrow’s penultimate stage.
Quotes From the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“I was feeling quite good today. We had said in the team meeting that I should try for the breakaway and it worked out. I went in the right move and gave it my best shot for the stage win but just came up a little short. My condition is definitely good. It’s been a while without racing, and I think for me it was important to get that race rhythm back in my legs. As the race goes on, I am feeling better and better which is a good sign heading towards the Vuelta a España. I am also glad I was able to take some pressure off the team. I think it helped them a lot to have me up the road and it gave me a chance to race for the win. It didn’t work out, but it’s always good to take the chance when it is there.”
Sports Director, Max Sciandri:
“Our plan going into today’s stage was to have a rider in the breakaway and Tejay van Garderen did exactly that. It really took the pressure off us in the peloton and made Bora - hansgrohe have to do a lot of the early work. Once they stopped pulling, a few other teams came to the front looking for the stage win. The breakaway then broke up, and Tejay was great at the front of the race. It was a bit of headwind running into the finish with the wet roads, but that wasn’t too bad in the end, and he was able to stay out in front until 3km to go. For Tejay, this race is a great way to get back into the swing of racing as he looks ahead to the end of the season. Today was a great test for him, and he was looking good.”
“Dylan Teuns came home safe after a hectic finish, and we had no problems which was the most important thing. It was roasting hot when we started the stage, and although we knew there was a slight chance of rain at the finish, it really started to pour down. From then, the roads were very slippery and when everyone's tire pressure is set for a hot day, there are always a lot of risks for riders when they enter a circuit and it starts to rain.”
Tour of Poland
Stage 5: Olimp Nagawczyna > Rzeszów, 130km
Top 3: 1. Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) 2. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-Scott) 3. Peter Sagan (Bora - hansgrohe)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 7. Daniel Oss 23. Dylan Teuns 45. Samuel Sánchez