Tour de Pologne Stage 7: Vakoc Moves Up to Top 10 GC, De Gendt Top 20 of Final Stage
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Petr Vakoc, after four days in yellow and a solo victory in Stage 2, moved himself up to 10th place overall on the final, 25km ITT of Tour de Pologne on Saturday.
Vakoc finished 1'49" down on overall winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), a Polish rider who held off Ion Izagurre (Movistar) by just 8" in the GC with a close call in the Stage 7 TT.
Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing) won the final stage with a 29'18" time (51.195 km/h). Adriano Malori (Movistar) finished 2nd, and Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team) finished 3rd.
Thomas De Gendt was the top stage finisher for OPQS, placing 18th (+53").
Gianluca Brambilla and Wout Poels, after working hard in support of Vakoc while also earning a couple top 5 and 10 finishes themselves, placed 13th and 15th in the overall classification respectively. Poels crashed in Stage 1, and the incident cost him crucial seconds.
"Wout Poels and Gianluca Brambilla today paid a little bit of a price due to the characteristics of the parcours," Sport Director Rick Van Slycke said. "The course was completely flat. They're climbers, so it's not really terrain that suits their skills. They did their best with something that was out of their control. Petr Vakoc stayed consistent with his performance after a week of fighting. This guy showed he still had energy after yesterday, to try and move up into the top 10 of the overall classification. It was really strong and impressive. He's a young rider with a lot to learn, and he has to improve in the time trial, but he showed both talent and character throughout this Tour de Pologne. Also, Thomas De Gendt did really well considering how much he worked all week for his teammates. So, overall the team was really strong. Maybe we could have had some guys in the top 10 of the GC with a little more luck, but that's cycling and we accept the verdict of the road. We did great considering the circumstances."