Tour of Poland: John Degenkolb takes closing stage as Moreno Moser confirms overall
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Tour of Poland: John Degenkolb takes closing stage as Moreno Moser confirms overall

by Ben Atkins at 12:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Poland
 
Long distance break caught late as heavy rain falls on Kraków finale

john degenkolbJohn Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) returned his 2012 season to winning ways with victory in the final stage of the Tour of Poland in the centre of the city of Krakóv. The 23-year-old German sprinted ahead of Team Sky duo Mathew Hayman and Ben Swift, after being led to the line by the Argos-Shimano team, as heavy rain fell on the stage’s closing kilometres.

“I’m really happy, last year my team mate [Marcel] Kittel was the winner here, while this year I took the honours in the final stage,” said Degenkolb. “In the finale we got hit by the storm but fortunately in the last kilometre the road was nice and wide with no curves so we didn’t run into any problems.

“It was a finale suited to me and thanks to the team, which carried me magnificently, I managed to win it,” the German added.

The 131.4km stage was dominated by a 12-rider attack, which escaped in the early stages and managed to get a maximum lead of 2’20”. The group was made up of stage 3 winner Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Dmytro Krivtsov (Lampre-ISD), Alexander Porsev (Katusha), Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Lars Boom (Rabobank), Robert Wagner (RadioShack-Nissan), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), Mickaël Delage (FDJ-BigMat), Branislau Samoilau (Movistar), Francesco Failli (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), and Oleg Berdos (Utensilnord-Named).

The group split in two on the last of the course’s seven 12.4km laps, under pressure from Marycz and Flecha, but the remaining six riders finally surrendered with three kilometres to go. This was the point that it suddenly began to rain heavily, making the city’s corners treacherous, and visibility difficult. Argos-Shimano took control of the peloton however, and delivered Degenkolb into the finishing straight to take his fifth victory of the season.

With none of the riders high in the general classification featuring in the sprint, and missing out on the stage’s bonus seconds, Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) confirmed overall victory in the seven-day WorldTour race, following teammate Peter Sagan’s win in the 2011 edition.

“I came here in good shape but I certainly wasn’t expecting to win,”  said Moser. “My first victory at Karpacz [stage 1 - ed] gave me confidence. Then [Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Michal] Kwiatkowski got the jersey off me and I knew that in those two mountain stages I could try and get it back and I did.

“Today I started off with a five-second advantage and that wasn’t enough to feel relaxed,” he explained. “I counted down kilometre after kilometre; I couldn’t wait for the stage to finish and fortunately everything went well. I’m super happy. I will always remember Poland

This is my first year as a pro and here I clinched the first major success in my career,” he added. “I hope there will be others but I will always have a fond memory of the Tour de Pologne.”

Polish rider Kwiatkowski had managed to take the race lead away from Moser on stage 4, but could do nothing to stop the Italian - who is the nephew of the legendary Francesco Moser - from taking it back with a win on the penultimate stage.

“I didn’t manage to win, however this second place is a good result in a race that’s important in my home country of Poland,” said Kwiatkowski, who had to settle for second place. “I was well prepared for the Tour de Pologne but I didn’t think I would ever come this far in the general classification.

“After the first few stages I realised I was among the best and so I started believing in it,” he continued. “I wore the yellow jersey for two days; riding with this jersey was a major thrill. I thank the team that gave me the best support and all the crowds for cheering me on in every stage. I hope one day to manage to win.”

Result stage 7
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Team Sky
3. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
4. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Astana
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
6. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank
7. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
9. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
10. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale

Final overall standings
1. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 5s
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky @ 16s
4. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team @ 26s
5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan @ 28s
6. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 29s
7. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan
8. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Argos-Shimano
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky
10. Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team

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