Davide Martinelli (Etixx-Quickstep) won the opening stage of the Tour of Poland ahead of teammate Fernando Gavira, Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) placed 3rd in the big bunch sprint finish.
It was just a short 138km stage to get racing underway in Poland, with the majority of the route taking place on a city circuit in Warsaw. The rain fell for the better part of the day and with a fair amount of road furniture about in the city streets, it was a nervous peloton racing toward the finish.
6 riders tried there luck with an early escape but as is usually the case with these big city circuits, it was fairly easy for the peloton to time the catch. The break was caught with 15km to go and the two sprint favourite teams of Gavira and Ewan had control of the peloton. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were hoping to have Kristian Sbaragli and Youcef Reguigui in the mix for the finale.
With 2km to go there was an interesting spiraling off ramp that the race route had to take, and it was difficult to have an organised leadout through this section. So much so that Etixx clearly made a spur of the moment decision when leadout man Martinelli attacked with 1km to go after coming up the spiral first. There was not enough organisation at the front of the strung out bunch to bring him back. Our African Team were not able to take part in the sprint finish after being caught out of position in these technical closing kilometers.