Tour of Poland stage 3: Richard Carapaz opens early sprint, holds off field for stunning win

Ecuadorian Team Ineos star launches 300 meters out, holds on for stage win, moves into overall lead.

Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos) surprised the sprinters to win Friday’s third stage of the Tour of Poland with a dramatic attack inside the final 300 meters. The Ecuadorian held off Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) by a wheel length on the gradual uphill finish, which on paper appeared destined to end in a bunch sprint.

“I am very happy. We did a good race today as a team, and winning this way in a sprint was really goo,” Carapaz said. “It was very nervous in the last few laps of the circuit, but the guys put me in a really good position in the last corner. They did a fantastic job.”

The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner held off a charging peloton lead by UAE Team Emirates trying to place Ulissi in position.

French rider Mickaël Delage (Groupama-FDJ) went down in a crash during the stage, and had to be airlifted to a local hospital.

His team indicated that he was conscious when he was taken from the race.

The 35-year-old Delage’s team said he was conscious when evacuated.

“Mickael Delage sustained a heavy fall on the Tour of Poland and has been taken to hospital. He is conscious,” Groupama-FDJ said on Twitter.

Ulissi commenting on the stage and the day ahead said, “My condition is good even though we are in the first races after the long layoff, which is pleasing as it means a lot of good work has been done. I hope to win soon. It was a nervous stage and it was hard. In this kind of finish, I usually go well and I think I did a really good sprint. Tomorrow is another hard stage, so I hope to recover well and give it another go.”

Bonus seconds were offered for the third stage, and with the win, Carapaz assumed the general classification lead from Mads Pederson. The Ecuadorian leads Ulissi by four seconds, with two stages remaining.

2020 Tour of Poland stage 3 results
1. Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos), 5:04:54
2. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), at s.t.
3. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), at s.t.
5. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), at s.t.
6. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott), at s.t.
7. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
8. Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling), at s.t.
9. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), at s.t.
10. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.