Team CSC's Jens Voigt put in one of his signature solo attacks on the Tour of Poland's sixth stage, and in weather more fitting for a Spring Classic than a summer tour, he rode his way into the race's overall lead. He now leads teammate Lars Bak by 1'22, with the morning's leader, Jose Jaoquin Rojas fading from contention more than five minutes in arrears.
The stage, originaly planned to cover 201.7 kilometres with five mountain passes had to be shortened to just 118 due to the extreme weather which has plagued the Tour since the start. "The original plan was for us to work for Lars Bak today because we thought he could avoid losing time and possibly take the lead," said CSC director Kim Andersen. "But Jens approached me and said he was feeling strong. So I said it was okay, and we agreed that he was going to make an attempt on the next climb. And from then on it was simply The Jens Voigt Show," he joked.
The shortened stage fell into Voigt's favour, but, he revealed, the entire peloton knew it. "Half of the peloton came over to me right before the stage and said, 'Jens, this is your kind of stage, it's wet and cold and it's short,'" Voigt said. "It's a great feeling because this is my last race this season and it a good morale boost for my winter training."
Seven riders escaped early in the hilly stage: German Tony Martin (Team Colombia), Markel Irizar Aranburu and Javier Aramendia Lorente(Euskalte-Euskadi), Polish riders Marcin Sapa and Adam Wadecki, Roberto Longo (Lampre) and Julien Belgy (Bouygues Telecom), but the group was lacking any CSC-Saxo Bank riders.With 45 kilometers to go, the leaders held a two minute advantage when Voigt decided to make his move to go across. On the hilliest section of the course, the break disintegrated, and Voigt passed the riders one by one. With almost 20 kilometers to go Voigt caught the final remaining leader, Tony Martin (Team Columbia). Eventually Martin, too, could not keep pace with the German.
The peloton split on the final climb, disrupting any possible chase, and Voigt crossed the finish line solo to grab the leader's jersey. "I said to Kim that I had good legs and I felt like I was able to beat the peloton and he said that if I had the legs for it I should go ahead. So I attacked on the next hill and after that it pretty much went according to plan. I'm really relieved by this because I didn't feel good during Plouay recently so it's wonderful to get confirmation that I'm back to my normal self now," said an excited Voigt.
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