Sixth for Simon Yates on explosive finish to stage five in PolandWed 8 Aug 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT stretched their legs in the final third of today’s fifth stage at the Tour of Poland, setting the tempo onto the closing circuits to position Simon Yates who took sixth place in an explosive finale.
Moving to the front of the peloton with 40kilometres to go and ensuring that the early breakaway was brought back ahead of the last laps, Mitchelton-SCOTT drove on, rotating off the front to keep Matteo Trentin and Yates in with a shout on the climb up to the line.
Everything came to life inside the last two kilometres as Sky set a fast pace before the road flattened ahead of the line, with an unexpected sprint finish unfolding and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) taking his second successive stage win.
After losing contact on the steep finish on stage 4, today saw Yates climb well and still produce a strong sprint to place sixth on the stage.
In contrast to the previous four days of racing the breakaway took over an hour to form on stage five, with seven riders eventually gaining around two minutes on the peloton. A gap that they held into the final 50kilometres before the pace quickened approaching the hilly circuits around the finish town of Bielsko-Biala.
Mitchelton-SCOTT set the tempo onto the first category climb with 35kilometres left to race and started to eat into the advantage of the seven leaders, standing at less than a minute as they hit the descent towards the three finishing laps
The Australian outfit continued to drive the pace into the first lap with Michael Albasini and Roman Kreuziger leading the charge and absorbing what was left of the breakaway group by the start of the second circuit.
Tentative attacks started to spring back and forth into the last ten kilometres as the opportunists sought to get ahead before the two kilometre ramp up to the finish line, but nothing stuck and the race exploded onto the last incline.
Team-Sky led onto the ramp and looked to set up Kwiatkowski with a series of accelerations over the last kilometre, proving to be vital as the Polish champion won from the sprint as the road leveled out ahead of the line.
“We thought the stage suited us today and the plan was to try and go for the win. In the first part we were all really active trying to get into the break, but once we could not be present we had to change our plan.”
“The closing circuits were pretty demanding, and we decided to ride for Matteo and basically try to make the pace high over the laps and going on to the last climb.
“In the end the final was too hard for Matteo also, but sometimes if you don’t try, you don’t know. We finished with Simon in the mix and up there finishing in the top ten, and we have a motivated and strong team looking forward to race aggressively over the next two days.”
Tour of Poland stage five results:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) O3:39:14
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC-Racing-Team) ST
3. Enrico Battaglin (Team-LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
6. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after stage five:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) 17:30:26
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC-Racing-Team) +0:12
3. George Bennet (Team-LottoNL-Jumbo) +020
15. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:35
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.