Thanks to an attack fifty kilometers from the finish, Remco Evenepoel won the Tour of Poland’s queen stage in a brilliant way on Thursday. In this very open race, Rudy Molard remained for a long time with other favourites before he struggled in the last few hundred meters. He placed 17th on the stage and gets the same position in the general classification before the last day of racing.

On the very undulating Bukowina course, featuring no less than 3,000 meters of elevation over 150 kilometers, the peloton was happy to quick let go a six-man breakaway that presented no real threat for the general classification. “The race went more or less as we expected,” said Jussi Veikkanen. “Ineos let a group break away and then quietly controlled”. After a rather calm first half of the stage, things got a bit crazier entering the third lap. “We knew the fight would start quite early,” added Jussi. “This is what happened with Mitchelton-Scott. They made a big acceleration and it did a lot of damage. Rudy was still there. Then, the race leader Carapaz crashed and Yates punctured. There was a moment of hesitation and Evenepoel got away. We never saw him again”.

“Rudy gave everything”, Jussi Veikkanen

There were still fifty kilometers to go when race exploded. “The crash did a lot of damage to Ineos and they could no longer control the rest of the bunch,” Jussi added. “Majka, Fuglsang and Yates took the opportunity and got away. Behind, there was no cooperation and Rudy was isolated, so we told him not to do too much and to try to save energy for the final. Attacks never stopped until the finish, and when you’re on your own, it’s not easy to handle”. As Evenepoel went on to net an impressive victory, Rudy Molard eventually struggled in the last few hundred meters. “Rudy was there until the last climb but he ended up with cramps and he couldn’t keep the wheels,” said Jussi. “He wasn’t able to keep his place in the top 10 but he gave it his all and he can’t have regrets tonight. It’s just a shame for him because the top 10 was possible after the time bonuses he took the day before”.

Now 17th in the general classification, Rudy Molard should not move from this spot tomorrow in the last stage made for sprinters. “As far as we are concerned, we will try to be aggressive at the start of the race,” concluded Jussi. “The first twenty kilometers will not be easy to manage so the breakaway could include strong guys. We’ll see if we can be involved there. In any case, we will try our chances. Then, if Fabian feels good in the final, he will obviously be able to try his luck”.

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