The steep finish at Szczyrk was on paper the first Tour de Pologne stage for the climbers and the day didn't disappoint. The seemingly never ending finale saw Valerio Conti hit out early before fading to 16th. Orica-Scott's Adam Yates followed the Italian's early move and proved to have the better legs on the day as he rode to eighth place.
Leading with 100 metres to go, Yates was unable to follow the in-form Dylan Teuns (BMC) but continued to fight to the line and limited his losses to nine seconds. The 24-year-old now sits in ninth place overall at 25 seconds to the Belgian.
For Orica-Scott sport director Dave McPartland, Yates' showing so far in the race has been promising considering it is his first stage race since the Giro d'Italia in May.
"We really got amongst it today, we made our presence felt today with Jack's move on the final climb. It was a good move from Jack to try and set Yates up but it actually could have gone either way, it was a big effort," McPartland said. "It was a dangerous move for the others and they had to chase hard to bring him back and he survived all the way until the final kilometre which was perfect and set Yates up really well.
"Yates put in an effort and in the end it just came down to maybe a little mistiming in the final few hundred metres."
After two opening stages in which the team rode for sprinter Caleb Ewan, stage 3 saw Orica-Scott turn its attention to the GC with Yates. Stage 4 is expected to again suit the sprinters before the GC battle resumes on stage 5 through to the stage 7 finale.
Pleased with the team efforts amid-way through the race, McPartland added he is confident of further good performances in Poland.
"We are happy with his showing and after his small break it's good to see he is feeling strong and everything is on the right track on the first real GC day here," McPartland said. "All the guys actually got around the circuit really well. It was a solid day and it was good to see Luka Mezgec and Caleb Ewan also riding strongly, which is also a good indication of their condition at the moment."
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