The conclusive showcase in Krakow crowned Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) as king of the 69th edition of the Tour de Pologne. The Tour de Pologne confirms its tradition by bringing the name of a new young champion to the spotlight. After the reigning stage in Bukowina Tatrzanska there were only a mere 5 seconds between Moser and hometown idol, Pole Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma Quick-Step).
On the flat, fast circuit in Krakow for a total of 131.4 km this advantage could only be recovered with bonus seconds available at the intermediary mileposts and the arrival. However there were no major upsets. After the start a group of attackers immediately broke out with 12 riders: Bert Lindeman (Vacansoleil), Lars Boom (Rabobank), Robert Wagner (Radioshack-Nissan), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), Mickael Delage (Fdj-Big Mat), Branislau Samoilau (Movistar), Francesco Failli (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Zdanek Stybar (Omega Pharma Quick-Step), Dmytro Krivstov (Lampre), Aleksander Porsev (Katusha), Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank) and Oleg Berdos (Utensilnord Named).
However as predicted the group didn’t leave them much leeway. The break reached a maximum advantage of about 3 minutes before being inevitably reeled in by the peloton, urged on by the sprinting teams, in the final laps. The final was insidious and in the last 3 km the group was literally hit by a thunderstorm. This was the verdict in Krakow: Yellow Skandia jersey for Moreno Moser in front of Kwiatkowski and Henao Montoya, and stage victory in the final sprint for Germany’s John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) in front of the pair from Sky Mathew Haymann and Ben Swift and Italian Jacopo Guarnieri (Liquigas-Cannondale).
“I’m really happy, last year my team mate Kittel was the winner here, while this year I took the honours in the final stage,” says stage winner John Degenkolb. “In the final 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 final suited to me and thanks to the team, which carried me magnificently, I managed to win it.”
“I came here in good shape but I certainly wasn’t expecting to win,” says the winner of the Tour de Pologne Moreno Moser. “My first victory at Karpacz gave me confidence. Then 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 5”-second advantage and they weren’t enough to feel relaxed. 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. I hope there will be others but I will always have a fond memory of the Tour de Pologne.”
“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,” says Michal Kwiatkowski, second in the general classification. “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 realized I was among the best and so I started believing in it. 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.”
The other classifications. Poland’s Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil) won the Tauron cyclamen jersey for the MGP. Pole Adrian Kurek (Utensilnord Named) won the Fiat red jersey as most active rider in the group. Ben Swift (Team Sky) took the white-red Lang Team jersey for the points’ classification. Team Sky stays at the head of the team classification.