Tour de Pologne: Jungels fights back in Zakopane
The Luxembourger finished third on the penultimate stage and made his way into the general classification top 10.
Bob Jungels showed remarkable strength and fighting spirit on the complicated stage six of the Tour de Pologne, which traveled from Wieliczka to Zakopane, the ski resort located in the south of the country and renowned for being a regular fixture on the Ski Jumping World Cup.
The day was one of relentless climbing, as six ascents, five of which were classified, awaited the 110 riders who embarked on this long and arduous journey. A breakaway formed soon after the start, but with the stakes being so high on a stage expected to create gaps in the general classification, the riders who went up the road weren't allowed to establish a threatening lead.
Attacks came from 40 kilometers out, on an unclassified climb that kicked out at 9% and saw some serious damage being done in the peloton, among the riders dropped being also overnight leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Bob Jungels took the front of the reduced bunch and his impetus saw other riders lose contact over the rolling and unforgiving terrain.
On the Bystryk climb, it was Bob the one who had problems and had to dig deep after a sudden injection of pace, which made a significant selection in the group. As Jack Haig (Orica-Scott) took off from the front, the Luxembourg Champion returned to the group, but lost time again, following a new series of attacks, this time over the top of Butorowy Wierch.
It wasn't game over, as Bob went into time trial mode, put in a solid effort and carried by his never-say-die attitude rejoined the group ahead of the final hill, were things calmed down, before heating up one more time in the run-in to the line, which witnessed a sprint royale between the GC contenders. Bob Jungels' powerful kick – which he displayed earlier this season at the Giro d'Italia – propelled him to third place on the stage, a result which bumped the 24-year-old into tenth overall.
"I am happy to see that my condition is taking shape. Today was difficult, but I'm glad of how I managed the situation. Third on such a tough stage is a good result, especially as we rode full gas today, before a very tactical finale. I am pleased with the outcome and I hope to have another strong ride tomorrow, although I must admit an individual time trial on the last stage would have suited me better", said Bob Jungels after Thursday's aggressive stage.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele