Road Race - Men: Gdynia - Gdynia
Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) took a career-defining win in the elite men's Polish national championships. The 29-year-old outfoxed Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech 7R Fuji) and Emanuel Piaskowy (Team Hurom) after 261 kilometres of excruciating racing, soloing to the finish line in port city Gdynia.
"I was crying, I was so happy. I am a domestique, my role, most of the time, is helping other riders, ensuring the team's presence in breakaways. It doesn't mean I'm a worse kind of rider, I just do what I do best. I am so proud," Kurek told a group of reporters after the podium ceremony while a shivering from cold and disbelief
Gdynia hosted the final episode of national championships with 72 elite men riders facing cloudy skies and tackling an unnaturally long undulating route in Pomeranian region. Unlike previous editions, organisers decided to run the race on two 84km circuits outside the city and four 11km loops on the streets of Gdynia.
Racing on the coast of Baltic Sea began with last year's silver medallist Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech 7R Fuji) spearheading the first move. A climber, Rutkiewicz had team tactics in mind and pushed on, breaking clear with Patryk Stosz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Patryk Kostecki (Domin Sport), Mateusz Nowaczek (Voster Uniwheels) and Emanuel Piaskowy (Team Hurom).
The bunch was off to a slow start and the gap ranged from 11 to 16 minutes in the early part of the day. With rain coming down outside the city, the peloton was close to being caught by amateurs who took to the same route minutes after their road heroes. As the bunch slowly rolled through the countryside, Kurek took up the pace and was the only rider to bridge the massive gap, joining the leaders after 50 kilometres of a solo effort.
"I made my move after around 30 kilometres. Seconds later I was on my own, it felt stupid to just give up. I had good legs, I concentrated and put myself in a time-trial mode, it's sort of my thing. I like moves like that. Today was my day and I took advantage" – he said.
With 160 kilometres remaining, racing started again as the Bora-Hansgrohe riders pushed the pace. Maciej Bodnar and Pawel Poljanski worked with Rafal Majka and crystallised a group of 16 that included all participating WorldTour riders, as well as representatives of key Polish teams.
The WorldTour trio hoped to put their rivals in the red zone and close the gap down before the local laps but they received little help in doing so. The gap went down to four minutes but a lack of cooperation and Rutkiewicz's determination were enough to push it back to six minutes on the local laps. Rutkiewicz and Piaskowy rode their own race, pushing on through a heavy downpour and taking advantage of the circumstances as some WorldTour riders wouldn't take risks on the slippery roads of a technical circuit ahead of Tour de France.
Rain decimated the field – with just under 30 riders remaining in the race and attackers managing a six-minute advantage, medals were to be decided by the breakaway riders. Kostecki, Nowaczek and Stosz faded one by one, while Kurek started briefly working with Rutkiewicz and Piaskowy. He then launched a solo attack with 5 kilometres remaining and never looked back.
"I started taking turns in the final kilometres but I didn't want to wait for the finish. Stuff can happen, you can end up second or third because of chain problems or whatever bad luck. I gave it a go, I knew everybody was tired."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||6:23:02|
|2||Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji||0:00:12|
|3||Emanuel Piaskowy (Pol) Team Hurom||0:00:14|
|4||Mateusz Nowaczek (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team||0:01:03|
|5||Patryk Stosz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||0:06:12|
|6||Kamil Gradek (Pol) One Pro Cycling||0:08:03|
|7||Alan Banaszek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|8||Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|9||Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky|
|10||Michal Podlaski (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|11||Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Elkov - Author Cycling Team||0:08:04|
|12||Pawel Franczak (Pol) Team Hurom|
|13||Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky||0:08:05|
|14||Kamil Zielinski (Pol) Domin Sport|
|15||Adam Stachowiak (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|16||Artur Detko (Pol) Domin Sport|
|17||Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|18||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:08:06|
|19||Pawel Charucki (Pol) Domin Sport||0:08:07|
|20||Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice||0:08:08|
|21||Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:08:16|
|22||Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|23||Szymon Rekita (Pol) LPC||0:12:47|
|24||Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Domin Sport||0:12:48|
|25||Adrian Banaszek (Pol) Kolss Cycling Team||0:12:50|
|26||Konrad Tomasiak (Pol) Team Hurom||0:12:51|
|DNF||Przemyslaw Mocek (Pol)|
|DNF||Tomasz Nowak (Pol)|
|DNF||Piotr Skarzynski (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Maciej Furczyk (Pol)|
|DNF||Jaroslaw Rebiewski (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Michal Braulinski (Pol)|
|DNF||Wojciech Migdal (Pol) Team Hurom|
|DNF||Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Jacek Morajko (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Jakub Najs (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|DNF||Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates|
|DNF||Bartosz Warchol (Pol) Team Hurom|
|DNF||Krzysztof Parma (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|DNF||Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) Team Hurom|
|DNF||Adrian Karpiuk (Pol)|
|DNF||Marcin Szenderski (Pol)|
|DNF||Dariusz Kolakowski (Pol)|
|DNF||Adrian Teklinski (Pol) SKC Tufo Prostejov|
|DNF||Wojciech Pszczolarski (Pol) SKC Tufo Prostejov|
|DNF||Aleksander Leduchowski (Pol)|
|DNF||Wojciech Sykala (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Mateusz Komar (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|DNF||Eryk Laton (Pol) Team Hurom|
|DNF||Kacper Gronkiewicz (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Adrian Honkisz (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Andrzej Bartkiewicz (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Mateusz Grabis (Pol) Voster Uniwheels Team|
|DNF||Pawel Bernas (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Patryk Kostecki (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Krzysztof Krzywy (Pol)|
|DNF||Adrian Kucharek (Pol) Domin Sport|
|DNF||Filip Matoszko (Pol)|
|DNF||Wojciech Kargul (Pol)|
|DNF||Wojciech Franczak (Pol) Team Hurom|
|DNF||Andrzej Józwik (Pol)|
|DNF||Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Piotr Brozyna (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Marcin Fiolka (Pol)|
|DNF||Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Dominik Oborski (Pol) Wibatech 7R Fuji|
|DNF||Pawel Staszczak (Pol)|
|DNF||Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
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