Polish champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) secured a second win, in as many days, claiming the stage five victory that finished in Bielsko-Biala.
He was followed home by Dylan Teuns (BMC) and Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) who was third, while Edvald Boasson Hagen took 9th place in a tough sprint finish.
The day followed a fairly predictable pattern with a six-man breakaway enjoying a comfortable lead for most of the stage. The gap though never stretched much beyond three minutes and there some drama with a crash with 40km to go which, unfortunately, saw a pair of riders go down heavily.
Within the final 20km the race came together with Mitchelton-Scott, in particular, working hard on the front of the group. In the finale though Kwiatkowski, in the yellow jersey, produced the punch to sustain a long sprint finish to the delight of the home fans, that also saw Boasson Hagen secure his first top-10 of the race.
Bernie Eisel – Rider
It was definitely not the best result but we were present from the beginning. The plan was to be in a bigger group as when six riders went there was no point in being there (with them). We protected Eddy as much as possible. I don’t have the best legs just yet but I’m feeling good.
We put Eddy into a nice position on the climb and we can say that perhaps he wasn’t the smartest on the sprint. He came from way too far behind and lost a lot of positions in the final roundabout with 1.2km to go and lost all his chances to win. Ninth is not bad but we hoped for more as it was definitely a stage for us, were really motivated and so we’re not happy with the outcome.
Now is two more mountain days waiting for us and the team is looking good so let’s put on the climbing legs for the last two days.
Gino Van Oudenhove – Sports Director
This was a perfect sprint for Edvald, and he did a strong sprint too. Unfortunately it came from too far back in the last roundabout and he never managed to position himself well for the actual sprint.
He told us after the the race there is something that makes him doubtful in certain situations, but that it is hard to explain why it is like that.