Hushovd wins classic slow motion sprint in Tour of Poland stage five
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hushovd wins classic slow motion sprint in Tour of Poland stage five

by Kyle Moore at 1:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Poland
BMC gets three in a row after Norwegian takes grueling drag race

Thor HushovdIt was an experienced and patient Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) who got his second win of the week, and third in a row for BMC, in stage five of the Tour of Poland on Thursday. Hushovd was present in the final two kilometres when no team could truly take charge, but he sat back and waited while a few solo attempts and a lead out from Sky Procycling played out in front of him.

It was a difficult uphill finale, and Hushovd’s patience paid off, as he blasted around Sergio Henao (Sky Procycling) and David Tanner (Belkin) and opened a gap. Matthieu Ladagnous ( charged late but came up short, taking second, and Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) was third.

An undulating day in Poland created a race that was difficult to predict. The uphill finish had the likes of the tiny climber Henao looking for bonus seconds in a sprint versus the larger classics men Hushovd and Ladagnous.

Early breakaway participators were Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Mathias Frank (BMC Racing), Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM), Jussi Veikkanen (, Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Darwin Atapuma (Colombia), Jacek Morajko (CCC Polsat Polkowice), Nicolay Mihaylov (CCC Polsat Polkowice), and Pawel Cieslik (Polish National Team). Marczynski took most of the rated climbs of the day, and the group was eventually whittled down to five.

They were caught with more than 25 kilometres to race, and a handful of other men would try and fail to escape the quick pace leading toward the finish. A danger move of six men, some of them general classification threats, tried to get away on a final descent, but overall leader Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) managed to get enough help from his and other teams to shut down the move.

Majka did the work himself in a hectic final five kilometres, and all were together for the final uphill drag. A Garmin-Sharp rider tried his luck, but Rigoberto Uran (Sky Procycling) was on him, leading out Henao. Tanner came up the right side but Hushovd was in his wheel, and the cagy Norwegian picked just the right time to move away for the win.

How the stage played out in detail:

A shorter stage was on the menu for riders on Thursday, as they faced 160.5 kilometres from Nowy Targ to Zakopane. The second half of the course featured two 40km loops, with both circuits featuring an ascent of the category one Glodówka climb, and the category two Droga do Olczy. The second of the cat-two climbs crested just three kilometres from the finish line, with a short descent and another final drag leading to it.

Early on, several big and small escape attempts were cancelled, including moves by Sylwester Szmyd (Movistar) and hometown favourite Przemyslaw Niemic (Lampre-Merida). Eventually, a mixed group of home riders and more powerful names got away, in Golas, Frank, Marczynski, Veikkanen, Madrazo, Atapuma, Morajko, Mihaylov, and Cieslik.

Saxo-Tinkoff was forced to push a quick tempo in support of Majka, mostly due to the presence of Atapuma in the break. The Colombian’s relatively small gap to the overall leader was a problem for the rest of the escapees, so Marczynski moved off on his own. Atapuma saw the writing on the wall and resigned to drop back, and after losing Morajko as well, the breakaway found harmony again, now seven strong.

They took their gap out to five minutes before a host of teams began to bring them back. Beginning the second of the two 40km laps, the pace became too much for the Finnish champ Veikkanen and Cieslik, and they fell away. From here, the gap continued to tumble, all the way down to 40 seconds with 30km to go, as Colombia and NetApp-Endura continued to pace the peloton.

NetApp-Endura had a plan for the stage win, so they sprung Bartosz Huzarski in a lead out for Leopold Konig, who took off toward the final climb of the Glodówka. Konig realized quickly that he wasn’t being given much room, and it was even Giro d’Italia champ Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who showed himself and chased down Konig. With the escapees now just 25 seconds ahead, Mihaylov accelerated, but the breakaway was finished with more than 20km to race.

From here, little moves went off the front of the peloton too often for them to be accounted for. Majka put his Saxo-Tinkoff team to the test as they tried to contain it all. An Argos-Shimano rider pulled clear with Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) and several others, but they were quickly neutralized. Thomas Rohregger (Radioshack-Leopard), well placed overall, came forward to take mountain points over the Glodówka but then dropped back.

The most serious move in the finale was made on the fast descent off the Glodówka climb. Six men split off the front, several of them posing a danger to Majka, in Atapuma, stage two winner Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale), Robert Kiserlovski (Radioshack-Nissan), Maciej Paterski (Cannondale), Luis Leon Sanchez (Belkin) and Sergey Chernetsky (Katusha). With 11km to go, this group had 20 seconds on the leaders.

Saxo-Tinkoff used Nikki Sorensen, and Sky Procycling had Bradley Wiggins working, although Majka soon grew impatient with the threatening group up the road. But he got another helpful pull from a team-mate and they hauled back the escape, in spite of Paterski trying a final solo dig.

With the line approaching, more riders tried to pull clear, including Italian road champion Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing). After that, it was a Euskaltel-Euskadi rider who tried to get away, with Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida) and Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) just behind him. The peloton was strung out behind under the pressure, as Riblon tried another move with 3km to go.

With 2km left, Hushovd and other fast men were circling, making it clear that it would not just be the overall favourites looking for the bonus seconds on the menu. Uran led out Henao for just that purpose, but Hushovd and Ladagnous were waiting.

The Norwegian leapt clear around Henao and Tanner, with Ratto unable to hold his wheel, and BMC had win number three.

In spite of his and his team’s efforts, Majka was forced to surrender his overall leader’s jersey to Jon Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi). The Basque rider used ten bonus seconds he earned in the day’s attractivity classification – which gives time bonuses based on a combination of mountain and sprint points earned each day – to pull one second clear of Majka in the overall.

Tour of Poland Stage 5 Brief Results:

1, Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing)
2, Matthieu Ladagnous (
3, Daniele Ratto (Cannondale)
4, Luca Mezgec (Argos-Shimano)
5, David Tanner (Belkin)
6, Sergio Henao (Sky Procycling)
7, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)
8, Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale)
9, Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Argos-Shimano)
10, Georg Preidler (Argos-Shimano)
11, Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice)
12, Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale)
13, Jon Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
14, Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff)
15, Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge)

General Classification after Stage 5:

1, Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in 25:49:41
2, Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 1"
3, Sergio Luis Henao (Sky Procycling) at 5"
4, Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) at 7"
5, Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) at 8"
6, Chris Anker Sörensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 10"
7, Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) at 14"
8, Eros Capecchi (Movistar)
9, Robert Kiserlovski (Radioshack-Leopard) at 17"
10, Thomas Rohregger (Radioshack-Leopard)


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