Mezgec boxed in on stage three sprint at the Tour of Poland

Mon 5 Aug 2019

Stage two winner Luka Mezgec couldn’t repeat his heroics of the previous day as he was forced to settle for 14th place in the stage three sprint at the Tour of Poland.

The Slovenian was in the mix once again after his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates kept him safe on the tricky finishing circuit, but the 30-year-old found himself boxed in and unable to contest the kick to the line.

Familiar Sight

It was a familiar sight as the peloton rolled out of the Silesian Stadium to get the stage underway as three riders leapt away from the bunch as soon the flag dropped. The trio quickly established an advantage with the peloton sitting up and allowing the escapees to drift away.

The leaders were led by Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk) who was in the break for the third successive day and the Frenchman helped his breakaway companions establish a maximum gap of over four minutes on the peloton.

Rain showers made for a nervous time in the bunch as the riders switched between wet and dry roads for the majority of the day, but with just one category-four lump to contend with, the stage was always set to end in another bunch sprint.

Fast and Tricky

As the break crossed the finish line for the first time they held a slender advantage on the peloton that was starting to up the pace with their attention turning to the sprint. However, the wet roads were a cause for concern after a number of crashing in the peloton over the course of the stage.

Onto the final lap and the break were still clear, but a crash amongst the three left just one rider out front with the peloton closing in behind. The lone rider continued to push on around the damp finishing circuit with the sprint trains still scrambling to get organised behind.

But it was all back together as the bunch passed under the three-kilometre to go banner with Mezgec surfing the wheels of his rivals sprint trains. As the pack raced around the final corner the Slovenian found himself boxed in on the run to the line and was forced to settle for 14th place behind the battle for the win.

Luka Mezgec:
“The finishing circuit was a bit sketchy but not too bad. I was hesitating to move up for a bit too long in the final kilometre, so I ended up getting boxed in. But the Boys did good job in the final two laps to keep me up towards the front.”

“My legs are turning good after the training block and we are all ready for some hillier stages. Maybe there will be another chance for me in the upcoming stages, we will see.”

Unfortunately Lotto Soudal rider Bjorg Lambrecht crashed during today’s stage and was taken to hospital where he subsequently passed away. All of our thoughts are with Bjorg’s family, friends and team at this time. Rest in peace, Bjorg.

Tour of Poland Stage 3 Results:
1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:29:41
2. Danny van Poppel (Team Jumbo-Visma) ST
14. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) st

Tour of Poland General Classification After Stage 3:
1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) 9:59:57
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) +0:12
3. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.