Tour de Pologne concludes in Krakow
The 73rd edition came to an end on Monday evening with an individual time trial.
Etixx – Quick-Step enjoyed an highly impressive series of victories last week, brought by Davide Martinelli and Fernando Gaviria, as well as a four-day stint in the yellow jersey, thanks to the same riders. Unfortunately, the two – together with other four men of the team – were forced to abandon on Saturday, on the stage to Zakopane, due to extreme weather conditions (heavy rain and low temperatures) and crashes, because of which almost half the peloton had to retire from the race.
Despite this, Tour de Pologne will stand out as one of Etixx – Quick-Step's best races of the season, an even more remarkable feat considering it was part of the World Tour calendar and had at the start many quality riders. On top of that, by notching up two stage wins, Colombian talent Fernando Gaviria (21 years) became the most successful neo-pro of 2016, with five victories to his name, three of which were scored in the World Tour.
The race concluded on Monday, with a 25-km long individual time trial in-and-out of Krakow, one of the oldest cities in the country. Another neo-pro, Laurens De Plus, and former Czech champion Zdenek Stybar were the two of the team's riders who made it through the ordeal of stage 5, thus starting the race against the clock on stage 7. Both enjoyed a calm day in the saddle and finished the ITT, drawing the curtain on the Tour de Pologne, which signaled the start of their second part of the season.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele