Lotto Belisol: Review Tour de Pologne
The Tour de Pologne is over. This stage race from the WorldTour began last weekend with two stages in Italy. After a rest day on Monday, the race continued on Tuesday in Poland. This afternoon the race was closed with an individual time trial of 37 km from Wieliczka to Kraków. Bradley Wiggins performed the best against the clock. The overall victory is for Pieter Weening, who took over the leader’s jersey from Christophe Riblon.
The Lotto Belisol riders showed themselves a few times by joining an escape. In the opening stage Saturday in the Dolomites with finish in Madonna di Campiglio Tosh Van der Sande attacked and stayed ahead until 45 km from the finish. Tuesday he sprinted to place five, the winner was Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd. A day later Dirk Bellemakers was part of a long breakaway towards Katowice. Only 10 km before the finish the adventure of the eight riders came to an end, but they never had more than three minutes lead. Francis De Greef took his chance yesterday, he was in an escape of 32. The stage consisted of five laps of 38,4 km around Bukowina Tatrzánska. Each time there were two climbs of first category. In the final lap De Greef was dropped, Atapuma was the only one who made it till the finish and he won.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, sports director: ” We came here to get a stage win, but that didn’t succeed. In the stage where Tosh Van der Sande became fifth, a podium place would have been possible. The team had dropped him off perfectly, he then started at the outside and that’s why he fell a bit short. Jelle Vanendert hasn’t been racing for a long time and is only back since the Tour de Wallonie, so he misses competition rhythm, but his condition is good when looking ahead to the rest of the season.”
“Francis De Greef was in a good breakaway yesterday, but one by one the escapees were caught. The team performed well in the attack, but of course it’s important that you pick up points, especially in a WorldTour race. This was definitely one of the toughest and possibly the toughest edition of the Tour de Pologne of the last years. First there were two hard stages in the Dolomites and also in Poland the route was selective. The fact that there were only six riders in each team made the race harder to control and every team tried to send guys in the break. The extra classification to win bonification seconds wasn’t decisive.”