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Sergio Higuita avoids crash to keep lead of Tour de Pologne

Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) gives the thumbs up on the podium after stage 5 of the 2022 Tour de Pologne
Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) gives the thumbs up on the podium after stage 5 of the 2022 Tour de Pologne (Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

A sage decision by Tour de Pologne leader Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) to stay at the back of the peloton kept the Colombian climber out of the trouble zone as a mass pile-up ripped through the pack in the sprint finish of stage 5 on Wednesday.

Higuita had hit the ground heavily on Tuesday evening close to the finish in Przemysl, and completed the stage with a severely bloodied right knee.

However, 24 hours later, after stage 5's tumultuous run-in, he walked into the media mixed zone without the bandage on his knee and looking considerably less troubled than after Wednesday's crash.

"I feel OK, much better," Higuita, 39th across the line, told Cyclingnews. "As we say in Colombia, it was only chapa y pintura - a surface wound. I'd been worried it would swell up and we saw the doctor on Wednesday evening. But finally, there's nothing to worry about."

Higuita said that rather than try to be too close to the front, he'd opted to talk things more calmly this time round. "I decided to stay a long way towards the back of the bunch and when I got to the crash, all I had to do was brake a bit." 

Although blocked in, as the crash took place at less than three kilometres to go, just as after he fell on Tuesday, he could complete the course without worrying about losing time.

Higuita's next challenge, of course, is a time trial on Thursday that will likely decide the overall outcome of the entire race. "It's going to be complicated to predict what happens, but at least it's a good test for the future," Higuita said. "After five hard stages, how you recover after physical effort will be as important as physical strength."

"Sometimes I don't do so well in time trials because I'm lightly built, but we'll check it out, talk it through with my coach, go full gas and see where that gets me."

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Alasdair Fotheringham
Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.