Verona animates the breakaway and Yates runs fourth on Queen Stage in PolandThu 9 Aug 2018
The sixth and Queen Stage of the 75thTour of Poland was peppered with climbs over four challenging circuits and Spanish climber Carlos Verona fought hard in the days breakaway before Simon Yates finished fourth in an explosive finale in Bukovina.
Mitchelton-SCOTT were on the hunt for a stage win and with Verona up the road the Australian outfit could sit on in the peloton until BMC brought the race back together on the final lap and preceded the fireworks on the final climb.
Roman Kreuziger and Luka Mezgec were the last riders with Yates as the favourites group reduced dramatically, Yates stayed with all attacks up the climb before giving chase to Georg Preidler (Groupama-FDJ on the drop down to the line.
Despite the pursuit, Preidler held on to take the stage win by metres with Yates settling for fourth on the stage and a move into the top ten overall with one more day of racing to come.
A hilly stage that covered 12 categorised climbs over four mountainous circuits saw a fast start to proceedings with a prolonged battle to get in the breakaway as every team looked to get involved.
Nine riders eventually broke free and Spanish climber Verona was among them, leading the group over the early climbs, trying to extend their advantage.
Two minutes proved to be their maximum as Team-Sky controlled the tempo of the peloton and with 50kilometres left to race Verona’s group held only one-minute 30seconds.
Gradually the repetition of the steep climbs started to show and going into the final lap of 24kilometres, Verona’s group were caught by a sharp acceleration from BMC at the head of the peloton.
Looking to take the race to Team-Sky. BMC continued to set a hard pace towards the final climbs as the peloton reduced to around 35riders and fresh attacks immediately started to spring – characterising the last ten kilometres with constant movement.
Team LottoNL-Jumbo moved up going onto the final climb up to Bukovina and increased the pace in the reducing the favourites group that held Yates and the yellow jersey of Kwiatkowski.
The Dutch team remained active, but it was Groupama-FDJ that took the glory with Preidler attacking as the climb flattened out and held a slight lead onto the run down to the line to take the stage win.
“Today the plan was to race aggressively from the start and we did. All the team was really active getting into all the moves, until the breakaway finally formed after 30kilometres.”
“Personally, I really wanted to be in the break, because today it has been made official that I am leaving the team at the end of the year, and the best way to say thanks to the Mitchelton-SCOTT Family for these two and a half years together, would be getting a good result for the team.
"However, the bunch as kept us close and it couldn’t be today, but I am really motivated to take all my chances until the end of the year to leave the team on a high, because it has been an amazing and happy stage of my professional career here, and I can only have good words and feelings for the team.
“Once the break was finally caught we tried to support Simon who finished really strongly. Tomorrow is the last stage here, we’ve been getting stronger every day and we will be giving our all to try and finish on a high note.”
Tour of Poland stage six results:
1. Georg Preidler (Groupama-FDJ) 03:16:01
2. Emanuel Bunchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) ST
4. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage six:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) 20:46:23
2. Dylan Teuns (BMCV-Racing-Team) +0:16
3. George Bennet (Team-LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:24
9. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:39
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.