The UCI World Champion showed his sprinter skills and took the opening stage at Tour de Pologne. An early breakaway was in front of the race until the final laps as the BORA – hansgrohe train took control over the pace and closed the gap.
Today – in its 74th edition – the Tour de Pologne started with a 130km long stage with start and finish in one of Europe´s biggest main squares in Krakow city centre. After 120km of hilly racing, the peloton returned to Krakow for the final circuits. Three 4km long laps awaited the riders before Peter Sagan was announced the winner of today´s first stage. With lots of hilly sections including one KOM and two intermediate sprints it was most likely a day for a breakaway or sprinters.
As expected, the first stage started with many attacks, therefore the breakaway of the day was built after some kilometers. Four riders made it to escape and had soon an advantage of more than 3 minutes to the peloton. BORA- hansgrohe focused on big breakaway groups and worked in the finale for UCI World Champion Peter Sagan.
The breakaway group stayed nearly the whole day in front of the race. With about 60 kilometers remaining the peloton started to set the pace and tried to close the gap.
Cesare Benedetti and Aleksejs Saramotins represented BORA – hansgrohe in front of the main bunch and took control over the pace. The gap dropped steadily and with 20 kilometers to go the breakaway was nearly caught. At this moment BORA – hansgrohe took control over the peloton and started their sprint train.
On the final laps in the city centre of Krakow, as approaching the final, the sprinters teams started to form their lead-out. BORA – hansgrohe organized their train for UCI World Champion Peter Sagan, who felt really good for today´s stage. A crash on the final metres, where Erik Baska was involved, created a moment of hectic. Luckily no injuries were recognized. BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Peter Sagan made his way and in a typical Sagan style he took the win ahead of C. Ewan (Orica-Scott).
After the stage Peter was really happy about his victory, “I’m so happy to be back racing with a victory that follows my latest stage win a few weeks ago. I’d like to thank my teammates for their great work today, it was textbook performance and we scored an important win. Special thanks should also go to the entire team, BORA-hansgrohe, its manager Ralph Denk and all the sponsors, in particular, BORA, hansgrohe and Specialized, that supported me after the setback at the Tour de France. The past is now behind us and we are fully focused on racing at the Tour de Pologne, but first we celebrate today’s victory.”
Steffen Radochla, the sports director was also happy about Peters victory. “It was a great victory, Peter showed that he is in a good shape. I am really proud of the team they did a great job today and worked perfectly together. Erik crashed in the finale but he has no injuries.”qm sportscore,