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"It was a good move by Peter. I was surprised Omega Pharma-Quick Step chased him because they don't have a sprinter here. But they were probably concerned he is a dangerous rider for the general classification." 

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)






03.08.2014 @ 23:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

While the sprinters rallied for position in a chaotic finale, Peter Velits tried to exploit the carnage by launching a late attack in the first stage of the Tour de Pologne. Even though he was chased down, his strong move proved that he is a serious contender for the overall victory.


BMC Racing Team's Sebastian Lander finished eighth after teammate Peter Velits attacked with 1.5 kilometers to go, only to be caught inside the final 200 meters on a hectic, crash-filled opening stage of the Tour de Pologne Sunday. The 226-km race was marked by a hot and windy start that saw five riders gain a nearly 15-minute lead in the first 80 kilometers, followed by a storm that brought stronger winds, heavy rain and hail.


"It became super dangerous, with lots of crashes, especially as soon as we got onto the finishing circuit," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said. "I told the guys to stay in the front and they did a good job."


Numerous riders went down on the rain-slickened pavement, including – with less than 20 km to go – four of the five riders left in the breakaway.


"We were lucky we did not have anyone hurt in all the crashes," Baldato said.


Belarus national road champion Yauheni Hutarovich (Ag2r La Mondiale) took the win ahead of Roman Maikin (RusVelo) and Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida).

Velits made his attack just as the last three of the escapees were overhauled. The reigning Slovakian national time trial champion got a gap of about 100 meters, but Omega Pharma-Quick Step gave chase to make the catch on the uphill drag to the finish.


"It was a good move by Peter," Baldato said. "I was surprised Omega Pharma-Quick Step chased him because they don't have a sprinter here. But they were probably concerned he is a dangerous rider for the general classification."


Lander said was encouraged by his third top 10 finish of the season.


"I was in a good position, but the last 400 meters they came from behind," the past Danish national road champion said. "I was feeling really good and eighth is OK, but as good as I was feeling I think I could have done a bit better. Tomorrow I will try again."



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