Tour de Pologne Stage 2: Stybar Attacks on Last Stage in the Italian Dolomites
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Zdenek Stybar stayed ahead with a breakaway that ultimately decided the 195.5km 2nd Stage of Tour de Pologne on Sunday. However, the breakaway split into pieces on the final ascent of Passo Pordoi (12km, 6.6%) and the gap to the peloton a little more than two minutes. The breakaway had grown to seven riders in the final kilometers, and was down to six when they reached the bottom of the Passo Pordoi.
Christophe Riblon (AG2R - La Mondiale) and Thomas Rohregger (Radioshack-Leopard) caught an attacking Maciej Paterski (Cannondale), only to distance him after some of the steepest sections of the climb. Eventually, Riblon decided to go solo with a 21" gap on Stybar and the other chasers, and the peloton 1'44" back. Riblon went on to win the stage over Rohregger by a little more than a minute and Georg Preidler (Argos-Shimano) — the only former break mate not to be caught by a drasticaly reduced peloton — was 3rd.
OPQS rider Serge Pauwels was listed in the breakaway earlier in the stage. OPQS looks next to a rest day on Monday after a challenging couple of days in the Italian Dolomites, as the rest of the race is in Poland.
"A group was away already with six guys including Serge," Stybar said. "Then there was a little uphill. Nibali he jumped, and then the gas from the peloton stopped, the guys from Lampre-Merida started to control. I went full gas to close the gap with I think two guys. We arrived with about 15 guys. So OK, I stayed there. We were going not too hard for the first 100km, almost too easy because we didn't have a really big gap. It was really tough in the final kilometers though, and it was a really strong group. It's my second race day after four months. Maybe I missed a little power at the end. I wanted to do something on Pordoi but I had no power left anymore. Once the peloton caught me I took it easy. But to make that kind of a group means my condition is getting there. Yesterday it was pretty painful but today I didn't really feel it during the day — in a breakaway you don't think about it."