The victory continues the 20-year-old’s remarkable run of stage race success, with the young Belgian making it four-from-four in 2020. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) rounded out the final podium in second and third respectively.
Evenepoel’s teammate Davide Ballerini nabbed the bunch sprint in a tight finish, bettering Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alberto Dainese (Sunweb). The win was the 25-year-old Italian’s first since joining Deceuninck-Quick-Step from Astana this year.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s final-day stage and GC success ends the Polish Tour on a high point for the team, having begun with a terrible low after the horrific crash that left their Dutch star Fabio Jakobsen in hospital.
The fifth and final day of the first WorldTour stage race since the coronavirus shutdown packed a handful of climbs in the opening half of the 188-kilometer route, though with 70km of flat before the finish in downtown Kraków, it was nailed-on for a sprint.
A break of seven formed and still held nearly two minutes with 40km to go as the sprint teams rapidly picked up the pace to peg them back. Trek-Segafredo did much of the work through the next 20km, with American junior world champion Quinn Simmons doing much of the work as the peloton approached the tight criterium-style closing circuits of Kraków.
Bora-Hansgrohe finally closed down the break inside the final 10km to set up the sprint as Trek-Segafredo, Baharain-McLaren and Groupama-FDJ massed at the front, with Deceuninck-Quick-Step protecting Evenepoel behind them.
Trek-Segafredo led out the sprint for Jasper Stuyven, though Ackermann launched a late move to hit the front with 100 meters to go, with Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren) half a wheel behind him. However, Ballerini was able to find his way from six wheels back to make it into the slipstream of the charging German to slingshot ahead and take the victory.
Earlier in the day, Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz (Ineos) did not start the final stage. After crashing heavily in stage 4 and sustaining bruising and road rash, his team opted to rest their Ecuadorian star as a precaution.
“It’s the best solution for him, as from here he goes on a Giro recon and then on to Lombardia – so looking at the bigger picture it is best for him to rest,” said team sport director Matteo Tosatto.
Carapaz will face Evenepoel at Il Lombardia next weekend as the Belgian phenom takes on the first monument of his career.
Stage 5 top-10
- Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick-Step): 4:31:22
- Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): S.T
- Alberto Dainese (Sunweb): S.T
- Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling): S.T
- Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) : S.T
- Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation): S.T
- Juan Molano (UAE Team Emirates): S.T
- Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren): S.T
- Szymon Sajnok (CCC Team): S.T
- Albert Torres (Movistar): S.T
GC after stage 5:
- Remco Evenepoel (Deceunick-Quick-Step): 21:59:40
- Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): +0:01:52
- Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:02:28
- Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): +0:02:32
- Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): +0:03:09
- Kamil Malecki (CCC): +0:03:12
- Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb): +0:03:15
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) : +0:03:18
- Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:03:18
- Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates): +0:03:10