Ninth place on stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne saw Peter Sagan lose his overall race lead to Danny van Poppel. The world champion won stage 1 with van Poppel third and with the Sky fastman second on stage 2, Sagan drops to second on GC tied on time with the Dutchman.
The downhill finish in Katowice is renowned as one of the fastest finale's in WorldTour stage racing with Jonas Van Genechten's hitting 80.8 km/h in 2014 and Marcel Kittel 78 km/h in 2015. While Modoo's stage winning top speed was slower at 74.74 km/h, Sagan explained that he was blocked in during the final and was unable to open his sprint. The Slovakian was forced to settle for ninth place, a length back from Modolo.
"As expected, stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne was very fast and finished with a bunch sprint. The team did a very good job of protecting me – pulling hard at the front to close the gaps and neutralise the attacks," said Sagan of the result. "Unfortunately, I was closed in the finale and wasn't able to sprint the way I wanted. However, I felt in good form and with strong legs, so I'm confident about my chances in the upcoming stages."
Sagan also lost his lead in the points classification to van Poppel but will wear the white jersey on stage 3 as the second placed rider as the Sky man will be wearing the yellow jersey.
Bora-Hansgrohe's sports director Christian Pömer explained the team had been focused on keeping Sagan at the head of the race all day but found themselves lacking numbers in the final and out of position.
"Due to the high speed sprint, with the final kilometre a downhill slope to the finish, we knew today not only strong legs would count – you would also need luck in timing. With Peter in yellow, the team had the added responsibility of working hard to close all the gaps, therefore we lost two riders during the stage because they gave their all," Pömer said.
"We worked hard to bring Peter to the finish in a good position, and hoped he would have a good gap and some luck. Unfortunately that didn't happen today and he couldn't sprint like he wanted, but that's a part of cycling. The team worked very well together and in tomorrow's mountain stage we're hoping for another good chance for us!"
Stage 3 takes the peloton from Jaworzno to Szczyrk for the first uphill finish of the stage where Bora-Hansgrohe is likely to be working for its GC man Rafa Majka.