Garmin-Transition’s Daniel Martin won Thursday’s fifth stage of the Tour of Poland, a 149km ride from Jastrzebie Zdroj to Ustron, to take the overall lead.
Martin attacked 3.5km from the line as he beat Slovenia’s Grega Bole (Lampre) by 20 seconds and Poland’s Sylwester Szmyd (Liquigas) to take the jersey from overnight leader Mirco Lorenzetto of Italy after the event’s first mountain stage in the Tatra mountains.
Early on, a five-man group including Australian Ben Swift of the Sky team and home racer Maciej Bodnar of Liquigas Domo broke away and after the opening three climbs Poland’s Mateusz Taciak (Polska BGZ) and Germany’s Martin Reimer (Cervelo) joined the fray.
But on the final ascent, Martin broke away to triumph and bag the yellow jersey with a 14 second advantage over Bole and 21 seconds over Alessandro Ballan (BMC).
“It was a wonderful day,” enthused Martin after his third career stage win. “Last week I ended second in a stage at Brixia Tour, but winning, and doing so in a Pro Tour race, is a whole different story.
“I will do everything I can to retain the yellow jersey until we get to Kracow. My legs are doing well so far, so I’m confident.”
Friday’s 228.5km race starts in Oswiecim before the racers observe a minute’s silence at Auschwitz to commemorate Holocaust victims. They then have to negotiate six first-category climbs prior to an uphill finish at Terma Bukowina Tatrazanska.