photo credit @ Tour de Pologne
Lotto Soudal’s Bart De Clercq claimed stage 5 of this year’s Tour de Pologne today, after finishing a few seconds ahead of Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Sebastian Reichenbach (IAM Cycling) during a slightly uphill finish in Zakopane.
De Clercq attacked from a sizable group of 10 riders during the final 5 kilometers. And, from there, the Belgian rider succeeded in maintaining a slight gap all the way to the finish.
Meanwhile, Sergio Henao (Team Sky) led the rest of the chase group home in fourth place.
As a result of his victory today, De Clercq wrested the leader’s jersey from yesterday’s second place finisher, Kamil Zielinski, and he now leads the race with a 4 second lead over Ulissi.
A small breakaway group containing Edward Beltran (Tinkoff-Saxo), Vegard Breen, Kris Boeckmans, Boris Vallée (Lotto-Soudal), Sebastian Turgot (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Grega Bole (CCC Sprandi), go underway early on in today’s race.
From there, the escapees managed to establish a sizable advantage of 6 minutes over the peloton.
However, shortly thereafter, both Turgot and Boeckmans were reclaimed by the peloton, while the rest of escapee’s lead had been reduced to just around 2 minutes.
With 70 kilometer still ahead, only Bole and Beltran remained out front, as both Lotto riders decided to slip back into the peloton in order to support De Clercq.
However, a further 10 kilometers laters, Bole and Beltran were eventually reeled back in.
Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal) was the next rider to attack on the crest of the Glodowka climb, but the lone escapee enjoyed only a brief moment out front before the chase once again took control.
Next came a flurry of attacks, with Fabio Aru trying to get clear, while Alexey Lutsenko, Diego Rosa, Andrey Zeits, and Paolo Tiralongo filed in neatly behind him.
Sergio Henao then countered, but the Colombian rider was unable to open up any kind of gap.
At that point, Aru took over at the front during the final climb, followed by Lutsenko once again.
However, out of nowhere launched Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), who managed to jump clear near the summit.
Back in the chase, this prompted Team Sky to pursue in earnest along the descent towards the finishing town.
With only 10 riders left in contention, Nieve was the first to make a move – only to be joined by 4 others.
However, a lack of unison at the front, ultimately lead to the escapees being caught.
From there, De Clercq executed a final attack inside the final two kilometers, where Lotto rider was able to keep enough distance between himself and chase during the final uphill stretch to seize the win.
Stage 5 Results
BEL 1 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) 5:48:49
ITA 2 ULISSI, Diego (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 3
SUI 3 REICHENBACH, Sébastien (IAM CYCLING)
COL 4 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 7
BEL 5 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING)
ITA 6 REBELLIN, Davide (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE)
ITA 7 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA)
FRA 8 RIBLON, Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ESP 9 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (MOVISTAR)
RUS 10 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA)
General Classification after Stage 5
BEL 1 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) 20:55:42
ITA 2 ULISSI, Diego (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 4
ITA 3 FORMOLO, Davide (TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 6
BEL 4 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING) + 9
ESP 5 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (MOVISTAR)
SUI 6 REICHENBACH, Sébastien (IAM CYCLING)
ITA 7 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 15
COL 8 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 16
FRA 9 RIBLON, Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 17
RUS 10 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA)
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