Last year Yuri Metlushenko (Amore & Vita Conad) kicked off the Szlakiem Grodów Piastowskich with a win and he repeated the feat on Thursday. The Ukrainian rider outsprinted his rivals in the 32km criterium in Legnica and will wear the gold leader's jersey on tomorrow's stage from Jawor to Zlotoryja.
Over 120 riders began what would be for most of them their biggest goal of the first part of the season. Polish riders are very motivated to perform well, since it's the most important Polish race after the Tour de Pologne. The strongest domestic teams were present along with some Polish riders from ProTour and Pro Continental teams including Marcin Sapa (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Michal Kwiatkowski (Caja Rural) and Bartosz Huzarski (ISD-Neri). They were placed on the Polish National Team and the Polish National Track Team.
Weather played a big role in the outcome of the Szlakiem Grodów Piawskich opener. Rain made the race too dangerous for the peloton to race aggressively and as such there were no breakaways throughout the duration of the stage. Many riders didn't want to take any risks and decided to abandon after a few laps. They will be able to start on tomorrow’s stage, since the results of the criterium were not included in the general classification.
Metlushenko took advantage of his bike handling skills and speed and was able to win most of the sprints. He not only won the criterium by earning the most points but also won the final sprint on the last lap.
Sylwester Janiszewski (CCC Polsat Polkowice) finished second, 11 points back and Nutrixxion Sparkasse's Dirk Muller another point back in third.
On the last four laps riders were battling for the leader's jerseys of every classification. The white jersey for the best U23 rider went to Pawel Bernas (Polish National Team). The king of the mountain jersey will be worn by Mateusz Komar (Mroz Active Jet) and Dirk Muller became the leader of the points classification.
Tomorrow the peloton will face a tough 158km stage from Jawor to Zlotoryja featuring the first category Podgórki Mountain which will be climbed three times.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad||21||pts|
|2||Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) Ccc Polsat Polkowice||10|
|3||Dirk Müller (Ger) Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse||9|
|4||Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) Ccc Polsat Polkowice||7|
|5||Wojciech Kaczmarski (Pol) Legia - Felt||6|
|6||Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia - Felt||5|
|7||Dariusz Rudnicki (Pol) Aktio Group Mostostal Pulawy||5|
|8||Nicholas Sanderson (Aus) Amore & Vita - Conad||4|
|9||Mateusz Komar (Pol) Mróz Active Jet||4|
|10||Adam Wadecki (Pol) Aktio Group Mostostal Pulawy||3|
|11||Dariusz Batek (Pol) Ccc Polsat Polkowice||3|
|12||Pawel Charucki (Pol) Polish National Team Track||3|
|13||Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp||2|
|14||Blasej Janiaczyk (Pol) Mróz Active Jet||2|
|15||Davide Bonuccelli (Ita) Cdc - Cavaliere||2|
|16||Franz Schiewer (Ger) Lkt Team Brandenburg||2|
|17||Artur Detko (Pol) Aktio Group Mostostal Pulawy||1|
|18||Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) Ccc Polsat Polkowice||1|
|19||Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita - Conad||1|
|20||Kim Lachmann (Ger) Team Nutrixxion Sparkasse||1|