De Plus climbs to eighth overall at Tour de Pologne
The 22-year-old Belgian is on the verge of claiming another top 10 in a World Tour stage race this season.
Laurens De Plus made a spectacular jump of five places in the general classification at the end of the Tour de Pologne queen stage, which traveled from Zakopane to Bukowina Tatrzanska, over 129 intense kilometers, peppered with thirteen climbs, four of which were crammed inside the final 30 kilometer, when the race was brought to life by several attacks.
It was on the penultimate of these – after the nine-man breakaway had been caught – that Dries Devenyns moved clear of a reduced bunch, which was numbering only 40 riders, opening together with Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) a 25-second gap which they maintained until with three kilometers to go, when a strong forcing of the yellow jersey group signaled the end of their adventure and the start of the fight between the GC contenders, among whom was also Laurens De Plus.
Briefly distanced on the steep gradients of the ascent to the Bukowina Resort, the young Belgian gritted his teeth and fought bravely, rejoining the group with the flamme rouge in sight. Shortly after that, on a short downhill section, Georg Preidler (Groupama-FDJ) accelerated and took the win, beating Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe) and race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in the process.
Laurens came over the line in eighth, same place he sits in the overall standings at the 75th edition of the Tour de Pologne, which will draw the curtain on Friday with another short and mountainous stage, starting and finishing In Bukowina Tatrzanska.
"The plan at the beginning of the day was for Dries to make a move in the final and for me to stay with the top guys, and our strategy paid off. The team did a really great job for me and they deserve a lot of credit, as they put me in a good position before each climb. It was another hard day, without a moment of respite, but I felt at home over this terrain, because it's very similar to the one in the Ardennes, which I like a lot", Laurens said after the stage. "I feel good here in Poland, it's my third time here in as many years since turning pro, and I hope to finish it off with a strong result tomorrow; that would be nice."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images