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With a cunning, late-race attack out of a small lead group, Bart de Clercq (Lotto-Soudal) rode his way into the Tour of Poland leader’s jersey with a stage 5 victory. The 28-year-old Belgian got the better of a break of 12 riders that formed in the final, hilly circuit of the 223km race from Nowy Sacz to Zakopane. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) came home second, three seconds behind, just ahead of Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling).
“I managed to stay in the front of the race, and in the descent there were only 11 riders left,” said de Clercq. “I then attacked at about four kilometers of the finish and it appeared to be the good moment. I stayed in front and won the stage. I’m very happy with that because it’s been a while since I won a race.”
Top 10, stage 5
- 1. Bart DE CLERCQ, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 5:48:49
- 2. Diego ULISSI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :03
- 3. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM CYCLING, at :03
- 4. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, TEAM SKY, at :07
- 5. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :07
- 6. Davide REBELLIN, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :07
- 7. Fabio ARU, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :07
- 8. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :07
- 9. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :07
- 10. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA, at :07
Top 10 GC
- 1. Bart DE CLERCQ, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 20:55:42
- 2. Diego ULISSI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :04
- 3. Davide FORMOLO, TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN, at :06
- 4. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :09
- 5. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :09
- 6. Sébastien REICHENBACH, IAM CYCLING, at :09
- 7. Fabio ARU, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :15
- 8. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, TEAM SKY, at :16
- 9. Christophe RIBLON, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :17
- 10. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA, at :17
De Clercq is now the race’s GC leader, four seconds ahead of Ulissi in the overall. Cannondale-Garmin’s Davide Formolo, who also made the breakaway on Thursday, sits third on GC.
“The real start of the Tour de Pologne was today actually,” continued de Clercq. “It was a very long stage with two laps of about 54 kilometers. These laps were very tough because the climbs lay in that lap.
“I’ll do my very best to maintain the first position on GC. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day because of the many climbs.”
On Friday, the race will offer more hills, with eight categorized climbs over 174 kilometers on a day that starts at Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa and finishes in Bukowina Tatrzanska.