A close second place for Mezgec on stage 5 at the Tour of PolandWed 2 Aug 2017
Slovenian champion Luka Mezgec blasted to second place today on a chaotic finish on stage five at the Tour of Poland.
A breakaway of five riders animated most of the hilly stage with the day eventually concluding with a reduced bunch sprint on wet roads.
Mezgec positioned himself well in the final to stay out of trouble and in a position to sprint for the victory, finishing in a close second place as Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) clinched the win.
“It was another really good result for us today, Luka came really close to winning the stage,” said sport director Dave McPartland. “The initial plan for the day was to sprint with Caleb Ewan. At first it was a bit of a disappointment not to have him there coming into the final but we had a really good option with Luka.”
“Despite the hard profile we thought that it may come down to a sprint today. Luka doesn’t get that many opportunities to sprint for himself, but he’s shown what great form his is in over the past month or so and he was really close to the victory today so we are really pleased.”
With another bunch sprint, the general classification remains very much the same with the team's GC hopeful, Adam Yates, now in eighth place overall at 33seconds with some hard stages still to come.
“All our GC guys had a good day and got through the stage well,” McPartland continued. “It can be dangerous having wet roads in the finish so we are happy that everyone finished safety and now we can look to the GC with hard stages still to come.”
How it happened:
Stage five of the tour provided another tough stage with a variety of climbs to contend with. The short 130kilometre race featured three second category climbs, a third category climb and other non classified climbs along the way.
Like previous stages, a breakaway group escaped within the opening 20kilometres. The five leaders opened up a maximum advantage of three minutes, but with the peloton attentive and controlling the speed in the bunch, the were unable to gain a threatening lead.
In the closing stages the rain began to fall which saw one of the breakaway riders crash and leave just four riders out front hovering around one minute ahead with 15kilometres to go.
ORICA-SCOTT remained safety in the peloton as three of the leaders were finally swallowed up with eight kilometres to go and only one rider remained ahead.
Inside the final four kilometres the race was all back together again, but with wet roads and a twisty finale, a crash with one kilometre to go created large splits within the group.
Mezgec, already in good position towards the front of the bunch, avoided the danger and was able to contest the sprint, coming very close to victory but having to settle for second place.
Yates is now up to eighth place overall with two hard stages remaining.
Tour of Poland stage five results:
1. Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) 2:59:44
2. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
General classification after stage five:
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 18:41:27
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) +0:14
3. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:20
8. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:33
Photos courtesy of TDWsport