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Tour of Poland Stage 2 Report, Results, Photos – Houle 15th

by pedalmag.com

July 13, 2016 (Katowice, Poland) – After yesterday’s tour de force, with Davide Martinelli (Etixx – Quick-Step) winning and wearing the yellow jersey, today the Tour de Pologne hit the second stage, from Tarnowskie Gory to Katowice, covering 153 km. It was a sombre start for the Italian riders, who lined up for the start wearing mourning bands to commemorate the victims of the tragic train accident in Puglia yesterday, and the entire pack in the Tour de Pologne joined them in one minute of applause.

(l-r) Vivianio, Gaviria, Ewan ©  Cor Vos

On paper it was supposed to be a stage suited to the fast tyres, and so it was. In the cycling world, Katowice has become a world temple to speed. However, 5 brave riders decided to make things difficult for the sprinters. Switzerland’s Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling), German Jonas Koch (Verva ActiveJet) who was already in the break yesterday, Kazak Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Astana), and Poles Lukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Dariusz Detko (Polish National Team) were the stars of the day’s break. They built a maximum advantage of about 2 minutes, with the group leaving them very little room to flee. The last fugitive to surrender was Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling), who got caught with 16 km to go until the arrival.

Hugo Houle  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

In the last part of the race the group was pulled along particularly by ORICA BikeExchange and LottoNL-Jumbo, but once again it was Etixx – Quick-Step who came out ahead, thanks to a powerful sprint by the young Fernando Gaviria, who was second yesterday on the finish line in Warsaw, right behind his own team mate, Martinelli. In addition to the stage victory, the young Colombian sprinter also captured the yellow leader’s jersey and the Hyundai white jersey as best sprinter.

“The final on this circuit was very difficult and complicated. It was a incredible sprint; we were going really fast; in fact, I managed to win by a matter of centimetres over Viviani and Ewan,” declared Gaviria, who reached a maximum speed of 75.4 km/h in the final sprint. The team raced very well, we knew there would be a breakaway group but we couldn’t let them get too far ahead of us. In fact, the pack kept the attackers in check. Tomorrow I will try to defend the yellow jersey, but I know that in the days to come there are going to be some difficult stages. In the meantime we’re enjoying this second team victory, the second team jersey here at the Tour de Pologne. It’s a team victory because all my team mates raced very well to put me in the best conditions to go for a great final sprint.”

Gaviria  ©  Cor Vos

The Tauron cyclamen jersey for best climber passes instead to the shoulders of Polish athlete Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), while Jonas Koch (Verva ActiveJet) captured the Lotto blue jersey as the most active rider in the group.

“I’m very happy, I’ve gotten off to a strong start at this Tour de Pologne; both yesterday and today I managed to get into the right break,” decIared Koch. “I spent a lot of energy but this blue jersey is the reward for me and my team, for the effort we put in. We will try to defend it as long as possible; it certainly won’t be an easy task.”

Results (brief)

1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step 3:19:30
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
4. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
5. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
8. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
9. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Kamil Zielinski (Pol) Polish National Team

15. Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
98. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
118. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo
197. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-BikeExchange   06:55

GC after Stage 2

1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step 6:20:24
2. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:06
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange 0:08
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre – Merida 0:14
5. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:16
6. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
7. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team

41. Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale 0:25
101. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
104. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo
196. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-BikeExchange   09:42

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