Tour de Pologne Stage 3: Vakoc Shakes up the Finale, Meersman 6th
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Petr Vakoc shook up the finale of the 166km 3rd Stage of Tour de Pologne, from Zawiercie to Katowice, on Tuesday, attacking with 1.1km to go and forcing disorganization in the peloton in a predicted bunch sprint finish. Vakoc was caught before the sprint was launched, but gaps initially formed in the field, and teams were unable to maintain much control on the front with the high speed created by the chase.
Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) won the stage. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) was 2nd, and Tom Van Asbroeck (Team LottoNL - Jumbo) finished 3rd. Etixx - Quick-Step rider Gianni Meersman finished 6th, as he kept himself near the front but was unable to pass riders ahead to contest the stage.
Etixx - Quick-Step controlled the pace on the front going into the final 20km of the stage, with Marcin Bialoblocki (Polish National Team) off the front out of the original breakaway that was down to four riders before he accelerated with about 23km remaining. The peloton was at a high pace quickly cutting into the gap, but once Etixx - Quick-Step got to the front the chase became more controlled to allow for a catch of the solo rider with 4.4km left to race. This allowed for a calmer finish heading into the anticipated bunch sprint. However, Vakoc tried to surprise the field with his late race attack.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to Stage 4, 220km in distance, from Jaworzno to Nowy Sacz on Wednesday. The parcours is a medium mountain stage, with the last climb at 37km from the finish.