Tuft time trials into the top ten at the Tour of Poland

Mon 18 Jul 2016

Former Canadian time trial champion Svein Tuft produced a solid performance for ORICA-BikeExchange on the final stage of the Tour of Poland stopping the clock in a respectable seventh place.

The 25km flat time trial stage was won by Alex Dowsett (Movistar), with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) finishing high up enough to secure the overall classification.

Sport director Dave McPartland was happy with performances today and praised the team's efforts throughout the course of the week.

"It was a goal for Svein to give it a hit out today and he gave it 100%," explained McPartland. "He was around were we expected. He finished and couldn't give any more so it was a good result considering he's been doing a fair bit of work for the boys all week."

"Although we haven't taken home any stage wins or the general classification result, I am still pleased with the way the boys conducted themselves throughout the week. 

"It's definitely been one of those tours where we have got a lot out of it as a team in terms of the way the boys worked together."

ORICA-BikeExchange conclude the WorldTour race in 20th place overall with Simon Yates. Despite the one of the main classification stages being cancelled due to the weather conditions, the 23-year-old showed promising signs in his first race back.

"The fact that Simon has come back after four months of no racing, straight back into it, that's really promising for us," McPartland continued. "It just shows what a classy bike rider he is. He's in a good place going forward now and he and the team can take a lot from this week here in Poland."

How it happened:

In contrast to the previous two stages, and to the rider's relief, there was an absence of rain for the final stage at the Tour of Poland. 

The time trial course started and finished in the city of Kraków, and proved to be one for the real time trial specialists taking place on wide, open roads with no major technical sections to contend with. 

Dowsett, one of the early riders to start, blasted around the 25km course to post the fastest time of 28minutes 59seconds and set the bench mark as he waited in the hot seat for the remainder of the stage. 

Having ridden consistently throughout the tour, Canadian time trial specialist Tuft had a well paced ride to finish in a provisional second place, one minute and 11seconds behind Dowsett in the first half of the race.

The ORICA-BikeExchange rider held onto second for a lengthy period of time as riders stopped the clock one after the other but unable to knock him out of the top three. 

It came down to the final phase of riders when the fast times began to come. Haig posted a promising time to sit within the top ten but eventually dropped down to 22nd in the end, while Yates stopped the clock in a time fast enough for 28th place, maintaining his place in the overall classification.

In the end, Tuft finished off the day in seventh place rounding up a solid seven days of racing for the Australian outfit, achieving four podium places, three of them third's with Caleb Ewan and Luka Mezgec followed by a close second place from Megzec on stage four. 

Yates was able to finish in 20th place overall despite the race being reduced down to one climbing stage due to the adverse weather conditions during yesterday's important general classification day.

Tour of Poland stage seven TT results:

1. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) 28:58
2. Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) +0:22
3. Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Jumbo) +0:39
7. Svein Tuft (ORICA-BikeExchange) +1:11

Overall classification:

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 23:47:23
2. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) +4:22
3. Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac) +4:54
20. Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) +13:24