Tour de Pologne: 225 kilometers at the front for Cavagna
The Frenchman animated the longest stage of this year's race until the closing kilometers.
Klein Constantia alumnus and Quick-Step Floors first-year neo-pro Rémi Cavagna stole the show on Tuesday's stage 4 of the Tour de Pologne, when he embarked on a five-hour breakaway in which he was joined six other riders, all of whom attacked once the flag was waved and the peloton rolled out from Zawiercie.
Despite being only seven months into his maiden World Tour season, the Frenchman has already began to make a name for himself, from the fourth place he finished in the Vuelta a San Juan individual time trial to the runner-up spot in the century-old Belgium Tour, where only a handful of seconds separated him from a resounding win.
In the longest stage of the Tour de Pologne, he showed again that he's one of the peloton's most promising rouleurs and a rider who never gives up, by making it into the escape and helping the seven-man group open a 7:30-gap over the chasers, who scratched the deficit only in the final 70 kilometers of the stage to Zabrze.
With 20 kilometers remaining, Rémi decided to leave the other riders and took on a solo mission which saw him fend off the pack until the last five kilometers, where a frantic peloton stormed past him and went on to contest the victory, which was notched up by Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) ahead of Danny van Poppel (Team Sky).
Exhausted and gasping for air after 225 hard and long kilometers spent in the escape, 21-year-old Cavagna gave us his take on the stage: "It was a long and really, really warm day. I had good legs the whole stage and when we entered on the circuit I decided to give it a go, so I just put the hammer down, took a gap and went as strong as I could. I was hoping to keep them at bay until the finish, but I was caught inside the last five kilometers. It's always unfortunate when this happens after such a long day in the break, but that's how it is. I'm sure I'll get other opportunities."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele