RZESZOW, Poland (AFP) — Theo Bos (Belkin) of the Netherlands claimed stage 3 of the Tour of Poland as Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) kept the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
The 174km stage from Kielce to Rzeszow ended in a bunch sprint. However, the finale was disrupted by a large crash in the final few kilometers. No riders lost time on GC, as the incident happened within three kilometers of the finish.
“I had to fight for the right wheel, as there were many corners,” Bos said. “When I was in the front, I had an advantage because the others couldn’t easily move up. I was able to maintain myself easily and in a decent position. I was able to narrowly beat Mezgec. This is a nice revenge for the Handzame Classic when he defeated me.
“I have worked hard for this. In Wallonia things didn’t go my way, but last night, I felt that I was going to be good. Most of the time, I’m right when I feel that. I told the boys this morning about my good legs and during the race, everything fell into place. I would have liked to pull the sprint for Barry [Markus] today, because he has done a lot for me this season, but things planned out differently.”
The early breakaway was comprised of Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Franczak Pawel (ActiveJet), who were soon joined by Björn Thurau (Europcar) and Salvatore Puccio (Sky). The group of four stayed away until 10 kilometers to go, holding an advantage no greater than three minutes throughout the stage.
Bos, a five-time world champion on the track, out-kicked Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) and Australia’s Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), who finished second and third, respectively.
Wednesday’s 236km stage 4 will take riders from Tarnow to Katowice.