For Kittel it was something of a comeback statement as he sprinted to victory on the opening stage in Warsaw to claim his first win in almost a year after what has been a miserable 2015. The psychological importance of that success is immeasurable but if anything the German ended up being outshone by Italian sprinter Matteo Pelucchi, who was triumphant on the following two stages.
After being runner-up overall two years in a row, Izagirre was finally able to stand upon the top step of the podium in Krakow, having ridden solidly in the mountains and moved into the lead on the final-day time trial. He took the lead from Sergio Henao, who had taken an emotional win in the mountains on the previous day, his first since bouncing back from a 2014 in which he was hit by a suspension and a career-threatening knee injury.
2014 winner Rafal Majka didn’t return to defend his crown but there was still plenty to shout about for the Polish fans. World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski was able to show off his rainbow bands on home roads, while there were two Polish stage winners in Maciej Bodnar and Marcin Bialoblocki, with Kamil Zielinski holding the leader’s jersey for a day.
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