Tour of Poland: Sprint in opening stage marred by heavy crash Groenewegen and Jakobsen
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 6:26 PM
Dylan Groenewegen crossed the finish line first in the opening stage of the Tour of Poland. However, the final sprint was marred by a horror trap in which Dutch champion Fabio Jakobsen was catapulted into the fence at full speed.
Exactly a year ago during the Tour of Poland, Bjorg Lambrecht died after a hard blow to a concrete culvert. His passing plunged the cycling world into deep mourning and today all social media posts showed that the sport has not forgotten its promising climbing talent. Just today the 77th edition of the stage race started. A round was started by the Śląski Stadium in Chorzów, which has recently been renewed.
From there, the peloton clocked a lap of nearly 147 kilometers through the area and then arrived at the three local laps around Katowice of 16.3 kilometers, which included a fourth category climb at 1.2 kilometers from the finish. Last year, Luka Mezgec won his first of two stage victories here and a sprint was also expected in the capital of Silesia.
Four early escapees
Just after the starting signal, four riders left. Home drivers Kamil Małecki and Maciej Paterski, Julius van den Berg and Sam Brand found each other and rode four and a half minutes ahead in the first intermediate sprint. In the peloton, Jumbo-Visma, which had its top sprinter with Dylan Groenewegen at the start, took the initiative and then the lead of the flight was kept within a safe margin.
Around half-price, the difference had narrowed to less than two minutes due to Jumbo-Visma’s Taco van der Hoorn, among others. That was kept stable until the three local rounds around Katowice. After the first turn, the lead of the four escapees was just under a minute, while behind them Deceuninck-Quick Step, Jumbo-Visma and BORA-hansgrohe kept the pace high.
Nervousness causes falls
When the nervousness in the peloton increased, people also fell. At thirty kilometers from the finish, several riders hit the asphalt, including Jumbo-Visma’s Christoph Pfingsten and Ryan Gibbons. The chase on the leading group continued unabated and the escapees were arrested at fifteen kilometers. The final phase remained nervous, with more crashes on the local lap around Katowice.
However, a mass sprint proved to be unavoidable. Team Ineos led the peloton to the last stage of this opening stage, after which the trains of the sprinters took over in the last two kilometers. In the final phase, Team Sunweb pushed hard for Alberto Dainese with Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen together. BORA then took over for Pascal Ackermann.
In the last 200 meters, Groenewegen started the sprint with Jakobsen in his wheel. The Dutch champion wanted to pass his compatriot on the right, but he left no room. Jakobsen was then catapulted into the fence. Groenewegen and other riders did not stay straight either.
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