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"This year I had some good results in the Pais Vasco and the Tour of California. I came close to victory, but I was always missing that little something to win. Now I’m happy with this success."

Photo: Sirotti






07.08.2015 @ 22:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergio Henao stormed to an impressive victory on stage six at the Tour of Poland to move into the slenderest of race leads.


The Colombian capitalised on the relentless hard work of his Team Sky team-mates and launched a well-timed late attack with 2.5 kilometres to go.


With the select group behind unable to claw him back, Henao crossed the line eight seconds ahead of his rivals in Bukowina Tatrzanska. That was enough to hand him the yellow leader's jersey, sitting level on time with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), who crossed the line in second.


Mikel Nieve was also on hand during an exciting finale, attacking repeatedly to set up his team-mate before eventually crossing the line sixth. That translated to ninth on GC, 22 seconds back on Henao.


Team Sky set out a gameplan across the race's queen stage, covering early moves with Vasil Kiryienka before Ian Boswell represented the team well in the day's 20-man break.


As the day wore on that group saw their advantage eroded, with Boswell dropping back to begin pacing the bunch, before Salvatore Puccio and Philip Deignan took it up ahead of the final categorised climb of the day.


Nieve pushed hard on the steep ramps of Sciana Bukovina before jumping clear again on the final descent. That allowed Henao a free ride in the pack before launching a decisive winning move.


The race concludes on Saturday with a 25km time trial in Krakow to decide the overall victor.



“It was a hard stagem” said Sergio Henao. “I had ridden it already in previous years and I was familiar with it. I knew we had to wait for the last lap to see how the group was doing.


"The last climb was very complicated; for a while there were many attacks. It was very tiring with a very fast pace but with Nieve we tried to anticipate. Aru gave it a go and Astana set the pace. I stuck to his wheel and I found the strength for the winning counter attack.


"For tomorrow I must say that the time trial is not my specialty but I want to do well. I feel good and I want to fight for victory. We’ll see at the finish.


"After my fall in the Tour of Suisse in 2014 I spent many difficult months with a fractured kneecap which almost forced me out of cycling. I have to thank the people closest to me, my girlfriend and the team that believed in me and waited for me.


"This year I had some good results in the Pais Vasco and the Tour of California. I came close to victory, but I was always missing that little something to win. Now I’m happy with this success and I want to thank my family and my team again for always believing in me.” 


"Everyone did their jobs perfectly today and it's even more nice when you see the team leader finish it off with a win," said Sports Director Dario Cioni. "It's especially nice to see Sergio do that after all the ups and downs he's had in the last year.


"Each rider played an important role. We knew we didn't want to work until later, so with Ian in the break that was perfect. When we worked we wanted to make it really hard, and Ian, Salva and Philip did a good job there. Mikel must be feeling really good because on courses that are not perfect for him he was up there making a lot of people chase.


"Maybe for GC it didn't quite work out as we'd hoped. The race has not been as selective as we'd wanted but certainly Sergio will give it his all in the time trial tomorrow. Even Mikel, with the way he has been riding, he can do a good time trial. It will be interesting to see where they both end up. I wouldn't say they are favourites for tomorrow and the gaps are not very big back to some good time trialists. 


"But we're happy to have taken the win and hopefully Kiry can have a good go tomorrow depending on how he is feeling. I'm sure both Sergio and Mikel if they can both finish top 10 on GC here in Poland that is a pretty good result."



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