It was the moment of truth this Thursday on the Tour de Pologne, with a decisive individual time trial regarding the general rankings. In Katowice, over 16.6 kilometres, Mattia Cattaneo won the stage while Joao Almeida joined Matej Mohoric at the top of the GC. Fighting for the top-10, Lenny Martinez put on a good ride despite a rolling course but still slipped to twelfth place overall. Meanwhile, Clément Davy finished just outside the day’s top-20. Friday, the race should come to an end with a sprint in Krakow.

On the eve of its closing stage, the Tour of Poland was to be decided in Katowice in stage 6, which was a race against the clock. The 154 riders still competing in the WorldTour race had to cover exactly 16.6 kilometres. “It was quite technical as they had to cross two tram rails, but above with a lot of corners that had white stripes prior or after”, explained Nicolas Boisson, the team’s coach. “On the other hand, we got lucky with the weather, because it rained in the morning, but the circuit could dry out. Therefore, almost everyone had the same conditions. It was a nice route, with nice portions to ride fast. It was a time trial for specialists, but you also needed good skills to not lose time in the corners. In the end, it was a very complete course”. Clément Davy tackled it quite early, in the first third of the starting list, and a few minutes after Bram Welten, who was the first starter for Groupama-FDJ. The young Frenchman got underway at 2:22 p.m., took fourth position at the intermediate checkpoint and got the same provisional place at the finish, in 19 minutes and 52 seconds. “The goal was for Clément and Lenny to go 100%”, explained Nicolas. “Paul wanted to do it properly while thinking about tomorrow and Lorenzo wanted to do a nice ride. Lewis and Bram were more conservative”.

“Lenny has nothing to be ashamed of”, Nicolas Boisson

Tenth overall on Thursday morning, Lenny Martinez was obviously the last rider from the team to start, shortly after 4 p.m. He eventually set a decent time of 20’19, which put him 43rd on the day and made him slip into 12th overall. “The goal since the start of the Tour de Pologne was to get the top-10 overall”, added Nicolas. “He was there until this morning, so the goal was to defend it. Unfortunately, he’s twelfth tonight, but six seconds from tenth place. It’s not a bad performance at all. Most importantly, he did a very meticulous ride and was really committed. That’s the big positive thing. The route didn’t suit him much, but he gave the best of himself, as in every time trial. He still put in a good performance. He has nothing to be ashamed of. We had a plan in terms of power, and he did a bit better than what we expected”. Lorenzo Germani took 35th, 58 seconds behind the winner Mattia Cattaneo, while Clément Davy took twenty-second place at 42 seconds. “It’s quite encouraging for him,” added Nicolas. “He is certainly quite far from winning, but from what I could see, we can still grab a few seconds here and there. He could have been closer to the top-15 today.”

Matej Mohoric retained the overall lead, but for less than a second against Joao Almeida, while the closing stage will not feature any real difficulty on Friday. Paul Penhoët should then have a final opportunity to contest the sprint.

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