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"Swifty had some pain following his crash yesterday so wasn't able to contest the sprint. We gave Edvald the opportunity but that sprint didn't really suit him with it being downhill."

Photo: Sirotti








07.08.2014 @ 12:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With Ben Swift having crashed twice in three days, Team Sky decided to change sprinter for yesterday's stage 4 of the Tour de Pologne. Edvald Boasson Hagen was given the nod to do the sprint bu could only manage 20th in the downhill kick to the line.


Josh Edmondson rode hard in the break at the Tour of Poland but there would be no joy for Team Sky in the stage four sprint.


The Yorkshireman pounced as counter-attacks began to fire on the longest stage of the race and made his way into a three-man move en route to Katowice.


Hoping to evade the peloton on the local finishing circuits, the trio were joined by a further pair of attackers in the closing stages. A lack of cohesion and a motivated peloton saw the move dragged back as attention turned to a sprint finish.


Edvald Boasson Hagen got the nod following Ben Swift's stage three crash and the Norwegian looked to be in a good position late on, surfing from one lead-out train to another after initial help from Kanstantsin Siutsou.


A surge on the right-hand side of the road left Boasson Hagen too far back to contest the sprint heading into the final kilometre, eventually coming home 20th behind another surprise winner.


Jonas Vangenechten produced a perfectly timed effort to take victory, the Lotto Belisol rider tucking in on the rapid downhill sprint before emerging from the slipstream of his competitors to edge through at the line.


Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) rounded out the podium places after the unusual spectacle of a largely seated sprint.


The bunch kick meant there were no issues for leader Petr Vakoc who retained the yellow jersey for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step for another day as the race prepares to head into the mountains.


Sports Director Gabriel Rasch described the day and looked ahead to an intriguing stage five.


"Five guys were away in the break from the start but Quick-Step possibly chased too hard and closed the gap too much," he explained. "We saw attacks from the peloton and I said to Josh, Salva (Puccio), Dario (Cataldo) and Kosta that they were free to go if there was a break that made sense.


"Josh went away in a move. It would have been good if there were a few more guys in there so it could have maybe got further. Swifty had some pain following his crash yesterday so wasn't able to contest the sprint. We gave Edvald the opportunity but that sprint didn't really suit him with it being downhill."


The complexion of the race changes on Thursday as the climbing begins in earnest with a summit finish in Strbske Pleso.


"Tomorrow the race really starts for us," Rasch admitted. "Sebastian (Henao) and Philip (Deignan) are going well and Edvald is also getting better each day. It's going to be really interesting."



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