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“At the finish the team plan was to for Ramon to set Luka up for the sprint but Luka had to brake hard in the final few k’s and he lost places so he shouted to Ramon to go for himself."

Photo: A.S.O.








04.08.2014 @ 19:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After yesterday's bad crash, it was a bit uncertain whether Luka Mezgec would be ready to sprint in today's second stage of the Tour de Pologne. However, the Slovenian was again the protected sprinter but as he was boxed in the finale, his teammate Ramon Sinkeldam sprinted to fourth.


Ramon Sinkeldam was the fastest rider on the second stage of the Tour de Pologne for Team Giant-Shimano in a finish where confusion reigned as to who was left out front of the peloton. One rider survived out front from the day’s early breakaway to take a hard-fought win, while behind Ramon Sinkeldam third in the sprint placing him fourth on the day.


Luka Mezgec also sprinted to a top ten positioning on the stage showing that he has bounced back well from his heavy fall in yesterday’s finishing sprint.


The day started with an early break of three riders, who soon started building up their advantage but a break such as this is often regarded as fruitless, even by those in the move.


As the kilometres ticked by in the second half of the stage the gap started to fall and the three riders split with one rider, Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma – Quickstep) pulled clear. The peloton behind started to chase but didn’t go full gas as some teams decided whether or not to chase.


Team Giant-Shimano put riders at the front but the overall effort from the peloton was not overly committed and the gap in front started to go out again. As the lone leader went under 10km to go he still held an advantage of over two minutes, and his chances of taking the stage were looking more and more likely.


Coming into the final few kilometres the chase behind was flat out but it was too late to bring things back together as Vakoc held over 20 seconds at the finish. In the run-in Mezgec was the team’s protected rider for the sprint but he was caught behind a crash in the final few kilometres. He immediately shouted to Sinkeldam to do his own sprint as he was still in position and he did well to move up on his own from here and take fourth on the stage.


Team Giant-Shimano coach Addy Engels said after the stage: “A break like today’s shouldn’t usually survive but these things happen. At one point there was hesitation in the chase behind the leader and the gap grew quickly. We chased hard but it wasn’t to be.


“At the finish the team plan was to for Ramon to set Luka up for the sprint but Luka had to brake hard in the final few k’s and he lost places so he shouted to Ramon to go for himself. This was a smart move from Luka as he was too far back to contest the sprint, and it gave Ramon the opportunity to go for himself.


“The good thing after yesterday is that the guys were all feeling good today and we have two more sprint opportunities ahead of us.”


Fourth placed Sinkeldam added: “It was another long day today. At one point there was doubt over who wanted to chase and this caused the break to get too much of a gap.


“Inside three k’s to go Luka was behind the crash and told me to go for myself, but I had already spent a lot of energy in positioning. I couldn’t give it my full sprint at the end either as I ran out of room by the barriers. I am feeling good and am happy with fourth as it was not a bad result but when I get an opportunity to sprint myself I always like to be able to give it everything.”



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