Second day of racing, and second bunch sprint on the Tour of Poland. After another stage featuring more than two hundred kilometres, it was Gerben Thijssen who got the victory in Zamość while Arnaud Démare took sixth place on Sunday. Tomorrow, the riders will face a small uphill finish after 237 kilometres of racing.
In the aftermath of a hectic sprint in the Tour of Poland, the second stage from Chelm to Zamosc also suited the sprinters on Sunday. However, this did not prevent Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Pro), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), Piotr Brozyna and Patryk Stosz (Poland) from attacking early in the race and establishing the day’s breakaway. As expected, the teams interested in the stage victory always remained in control, and Groupama-FDJ came to take part in the chase halfway through the race. “We had decided to make Bruno pull after about a hundred kilometres today”, explained Sébastien Joly. “Once again, he did a great job”. The French time trial champion kept the leading four at a short distance before giving his last turns in the final. “The Lotto-Soudal rider went quite far, and he was only caught in the very last kilometres,” added Sébastien. Jasper De Buyst was also in the lead when crossing the line for the first time eight kilometres from the finish, while an incident occurred in the pack. “The final circuit was quite technical, and a crash happened”, explained Sébastien. “Miles was caught in it, and he slightly hurt his finger. There is nothing too bad according to the doctor, but he was stopped, just like Arnaud”. “We got delayed by the crash”, confirmed the Frenchman. “It was a bit difficult to get back into the top positions given that we had lost Miles, but we managed to get organized quickly”.
“I’m disappointed not to have been able to do a proper sprint”, Arnaud Démare
In the last five kilometres, the Groupama-FDJ lead-out train eventually came back in the first quarter of the bunch with the final sprint approaching. “Bram and Jacopo did a great work to bring Arnaud back up,” said Sébastien. “I was in a good position in the last roundabout 500 meters from the finish”, said the former French champion. “Actually, it was a too good position. I found myself in the front in the home stretch and got overtaken. It’s a shame, I’m obviously disappointed not to have been able to do a proper sprint, but it’s a nice return to racing and I think there will be other opportunities”. In second position with 300 meters to go, the team’s sprinter couldn’t match the speed from his opponents coming from behind at the decisive moment. He then took sixth place on the day. “He was passed by the others when he was about to launch his sprint, and had to let them go”, concluded Sébastien. “When he went for it again, it was a little too late. That being said, we felt that they were right in the mix today, even with the absence of Miles. Technically, things were set up. We didn’t get the win, everyone was committed and the guys still played it well. After a special first day, we got back on the right track today!“ Before another potential opportunity for Azrnaud Démare next week, a punchy finish is looming on Monday. “We are going to focus on Quentin”, finally added Sébastien.