Tour of Poland #5: Youcef Reguigui risks it all, ends with 12th

Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) won stage 5 of the Tour of Poland by beating Luka Mezgec (Orica-Scott) into 2nd place, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished in 3rd position.

It was a shorter stage in Poland today as riders took on 130km from Olimp Nagawczyna to Rzeszow. Again racing got underway in the blistering heat but with 20km to go, the heavens opened as it poured down. The sudden downpour made the final kilometers really tricky as a number of riders went down on the slippery surface.

From the 5 rider early break, Tejay van Gaarderen (BMC Racing) made it as far as the final climb of the day, which topped out at 10km to go. The climb although only 2km in length, really did some damage as just 50 riders made it over in the first group. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had both Youcef Reguigui and Ben O’Connor just miss the front split initially but were able to chase back on the descent.

Van Gaarderen was caught on the wet descent to the line as Team Sky led the small peloton into the finale. Just after the 1km to go sign was passed, there was a crash near the front of the group as riders again slipped out on the wet roads. Reguigui just missed the crash and then went on an all or nothing attack. Our Algerian got the gap initially but unfortunately Team Sky still had a rider to sacrifice in a chase effort. Reguigui was caught with 200m to go as Van Poppel took the win, our Algerian champ crossing the line 12th in the end.

Youcef Reguigui – Rider
I came really close to the victory today. I was with Ben O’Connor in the last 10km and he was pulling full gas to bring me back just before 5km to go. I went directly to the front when we bridged. I started sprinting with 600m to go already because with Peter Sagan and other fast sprinters in the group, I had to try something different. I tried but it didn’t pay off today, I will try again in the future.