Tour de Pologne Stage 2: Surprise! Vakoc Shocks the Peloton and Wins Solo, Takes GC Lead!
Petr Vakoc received a big reward for his risk at 226km Tour de Pologne Stage 2 on Monday. The young Czech rider, in his first year as a professional, decided to go solo out of an original three rider breakaway with about 25 kilometers left to race. His gamble on the peloton not taking up the chase in time to catch him was a successful one. He won with enough of an advantage to also put on the leader's jersey with a 27" advantage.
The peloton realized Vakoc's advantage was substantial, and a big threat to the general classification, inside 10km to go. By then, Vakoc was riding strong with a 2 minute advantage. Though teams chased hard in the final kilometers, he still crossed the line 21" ahead of the field with a smile on his face.
The first UCI WorldTour victory of Vakoc's career is also the 51st, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2014.
Vakoc, who is also an Economics student at University of Prague, won the University Road and Time Trial Championships earlier this season.
"Being UCI WorldTour this is a big race, so to win solo like this is unbelievable," Vakoc said. "The toughest moment was when we started the finishing circuit. The gap was falling fast and my legs started to tire a bit. Then with five kilometers to go it started to get really hard but I just gave it everything for those last five kilometers. I didn't think about anything other than use every ounce of energy that I had. It's a beautiful moment for me. I didn't expect it, and it seems neither did the peloton. When the three of us went away and had a gap at first I wasn't so sure about my decision, but then I thought maybe if the gap kept going up and I save enough energy in the final kilometers, I can try to go alone. I was thinking about it, to try and have some energy left to win a stage. It's a great feeling to have this effort pay off and earn my first UCI WorldTour victory of my career here in Poland. It seems Poland brings me luck as both of my University Championship victories also happened here a few weeks ago. I like racing in Poland. Now, I'd like to fight to keep the jersey as long as I can. It will be hard, but I will fight and I know my teammates will fight with me. We will see in the coming days. I'm a young student on and off and the bike and this will be an opportunity to learn in the best way possible. I'd like to thank OPQS for giving me a chance today, and at Tour de Pologne, in this jersey that I am so proud to wear."