Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne in a mass sprint. Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Emirates) finished in 2nd place and Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) was 3rd.
It was just a short 132km stage to get the Tour de Pologne underway today and the flat nature of the route made it a perfect stage for the sprinters. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was hoping Mark Cavendish would be able to be in the mix for the expected sprint finale in Krakow.
As the peloton entered the local laps in Krakow, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka came to front of the main field to help position our Manx sprinter. With the finish line approaching, the teams with greater depth in the sprint leadouts took over, as Cavendish looked for the best wheels to follow.
Unfortunately though, right at the start of the final 4km lap, Cavendish was caught up in a crash in a slow but very sharp and tight left hand corner, Jaco Venter also being caught up in the same incident. This took Cavendish out of contention for the final sprint.
Ackermann took the victory with a strong sprint, while all our other riders finished safely in the main bunch, Cavendish and Venter coming in just a few minutes later.
“Unfortunately luck was not on our side today. Cav was our card for the final but he couldn’t contest the sprint after being caught up in that tricky corner. It was more than a ninety degree corner and quite narrow, with everyone fighting for position, there wasn’t a lot of space. We will go again tomorrow.” – Alex Sans Vega