Pedersen dedicated the win to Fabio Jakobsen, the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider who crashed Wednesday after being forced into the barriers.
“I want to dedicate this victory to Fabio after the horrible crash. He deserves to come back fast, to life and to racing,” Pedersen said. “To see how the team rode today was pretty impressive. I am super-happy to take the victory for the team, and for myself, and show this beautiful jersey. We will try to keep the leader’s jersey tomorrow. This is a really great way to restart the season and to keep fighting.”
Wearing the signature rainbow jersey, the Dane timed his sprint perfectly, besting Pascal Ackermann (Bora – Hansgrohe) and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) for the top step of the podium. The victory marks Pedersen’s first win of 2020, and his first win while wearing the rainbow stripes.
“It was tough for all of us today, as Fabio was in our minds the entire day,” Ballerini said. “He would have been in the mix, I’m sure of that, and with a good chance of taking another win. I really wanted to get a good result for him, but it wasn’t easy with these strong competitors. We have three more days here and we hope to score some nice results for our teammate, who we hope to overcome this difficult moment and make a full recovery.”
Going into the start of stage 2, Kamil Małecki (CCC Team) was the best-placed GC rider, however, the Pole declined the leader’s jersey out of respect to Fabio Jakobsen, who was unable to start stage 2.
Jakobsen was involved in a serious crash right at the finish line of the first stage. His condition was listed as critical but stable, recuperating from a five-hour surgery early Thursday.
With just one climb, up the Góra Świętej Anny, 2.3km at an average of 6.3 percent, the second stage was mostly flat.
Pedersen now leads the general classification by four seconds, ahead of both Ackermann and Małecki.
Tour of Poland stage 2 results
1. Mads Pedersen Mads (Trek-Segafredo), 3:26:02
2. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.
3. Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), at s.t.
4. Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation), at s.t.
5. Alberto Dainese (Team Sunweb), at s.t.
6. Albert Torres (Movistar Team), at s.t.
7. Zymon Sajnok (CCC Team), at s.t.
8. Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates), at s.t.
9. Piet Allegaert (Cofidis Solutions Crédits), at s.t.
10. Jürgen Roelandts (Movistar Team), at s.t.