Mezgec finishes strongly in hectic finale on stage two at the Tour of PolandSun 5 Aug 2018
Former Slovenian triple champion Luka Mezgec took up the mantle in the sprint for Mitchelton-SCOTT on stage two of the Tour of Poland, finishing strongly to take fourth place in a messy sprint.
For the second day running a short stage unfolded behind the early breakaway, coming to life in the last few kilometres when a late attack threatened to disrupt the sprinters chances, but only succeeded in lighting the touch paper.
Australian champion Alex Edmondson had guided Mezgec into the last five kilometres with Matteo Trentin also close at hand, as the sprint began it was Mezgec who was the better positioned of the two and he kicked hard.
Powering down the right, the Slovenian was forced off his line by a movement in the bunch and despite breaking recovered enough speed to take fourth behind stage winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who retains the yellow leader’s jersey going into stage three.
Another short stage at 156kilometres, stage two witnessed more early breakaway action. This time with five riders going clear over the first 15kilometres.
The quintet gained close to three minutes on the peloton and held their lead onto the closing circuits around Katowice with the bunch finally increasing the pace with 40kilometres to go.
By the time the race hit the final lap the break had shrunk to a trio with only 40seconds advantage and 20kilometres left to race. Predominantly flat and favouring the sprinters it was Bora-Hansgrohe who were on the front for race leader Pascal Ackermann as the last kilometres ticked by,
The drag up to the final kilometre was going to be the only chance for any late attacks to try and derail the sprint and home team CCC tried their luck, causing some chaos at the head of the bunch which led to a fast and chaotic sprint.
Today saw Mezgec better positioned and the Slovenian managed to take fourth place behind Ackermann despite being forced to deviate in the last 100metres.
“It was hectic throughout the final lap, but we rode at the front in a good position, so that made it much easier going in the final few kilometres.”
“The original plan was to go for Matteo, but in the corner with two kilometres to go we lost each other and I was staying up at the front in a good position hoping Matteo will come back on the final turn, but that didn’t happen. So, I was just following Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) and then launched myself into the sprint.
“I was going with the good speed but with some of the bunch moving suddenly to the right and coming so close to me I lost a bit of momentum going to the line, but I am happy with the feeling and looking forward to more races with Matteo and Alex, we are working pretty good in the finals together so far.”
Tour of Poland stage two results:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 03:16:39
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step-Floors) ST
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) ST
4. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.