Tour of Poland: Van Genechten claims first WorldTour win

Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto-Belisol) claimed victory on stage 4 of the Tour of Poland with a well-timed sprint in Katowice, edging out Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and the fast-closing Luca Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) in a blanket finish.

The Belgian came from a long way back to overhaul Guarnieri and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) in the closing 100 metres, but in the event, his positioning played to his advantage – as did his foresight in his gear selection.

"The last bit of the stage was about timing. I wasn't in the best position, in the first ten, but it was the best place to come from the back with the speed," Van Genechten explained. "Yesterday I asked the mechanic to change the big chainring and put on the 54: maybe that made the difference."

The win was Van Genechten’s first at WorldTour level and his first of any description since landing the GP Pino Cerami last year. "This is my biggest victory so far so I am absolutely delighted. Usually I am a bit like Greg Henderson: I work for our leaders André Greipel or Jens Debusschere in the sprints, or even for Kenny De Haes here at the Tour of Poland," Van Genechten said. "But Kenny said with two laps to go that he didn't feel very good so I could try my luck."

Van Genechten's joy contrasted with the frustration of Luca Mezgec. The Slovenian had appeared well-positioned as Lampre’s Roberto Ferrari kicked off the sprint with 300 metres to go, but he managed to get himself penned in by his own lead-out man Nikias Arndt, and could only open his effort in earnest inside the final 50 metres.

"In such a sprint you can't get blocked at all and it's pretty much what happened to me: I couldn't pedal from 200 to 50 metres to the finish line. When I found the opening again it was too late," Mezgec said.

Mezgec’s speed was enough to overhaul Modolo, but on the opposite side of the road, Van Genechten had jumped into a lead that he would not surrender.

Vakoc retains lead

In the general classification, Petr Vakoc (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) remains in the yellow jersey with a lead of 26 seconds over Matthias Krizek (Cannondale). Krizek moved up to second place thanks the bonus seconds he picked up by winning all three bonus seconds on the stage, having spent most of the stage off the front in the break of the day.

After an early move that saw Lotto’s Boris Vallee move into the provisional overall lead was reeled in, Krizek jumped off the front with Josh Edmondson (Sky) and Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat). The trio built up a maximum lead of four minutes, and still had two in hand as they entered the final 50 kilometres.

With 28 kilometres remaining, they received some important reinforcements when Jerome Cousin (Europcar) and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Poland) forged across, although by that point, their lead had been slashed to just 35 seconds as Belkin took up the reins of pursuit in earnest on the finishing circuit.

Taciak’s failure to collaborate in the closing kilometres as he chased king of the mountains points appeared to be the source of some discord within the break, with Cousin and Kasperkiewicz ultimately opting to zip clear together. Their act of defiance was snuffed out with 9 kilometres to go, however, as was a later move that saw Angelo Tulik (Europcar) joined by Fabio Felline (Trek) and Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Shimano).

Thor Hushovd (BMC) offered the final and firmest act of resistance to the inevitable sprint when he launched a canny attack 1,500 metres from home, just as the course tackled a series of short ripples. His powerful effort saw him open a small gap over the bunch, but unfortunately for the Norwegian, there was not sufficient hesitation for his sake in the chasing pack and he was swept up with 600 metres to go.

Mezgec had Giant-Shimano’s strength of numbers in the finale, while Modolo had the forceful Ferrari to lead out the sprint, but in the end, it was Van Genechten who had the strength and the wit to grab the win.

Thursday sees the race cross over the border into Slovakia for the first hilly stage, and Vakoc was optimistic about his chances of retaining the overall lead. "I am confident I can hold the yellow jersey tomorrow after the first mountain stage," said Vakoc. "I already know the final hill because we already climbed it at the Tour of Slowakia. It suits me very well because it's short and steep [max. 16%, Ed.]. But Tinkoff-Saxo will definitely be strong as they want Rafal Majka to win the race."


Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol5:43:29
2Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La MondialeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 5 - Cell 2
7Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin SharpRow 6 - Cell 2
8Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin SharpRow 9 - Cell 2
11Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 10 - Cell 2
12Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) RusVeloRow 11 - Cell 2
13Roman Maikin (Rus) RusVeloRow 12 - Cell 2
14Oscar Gatto (Ita) CannondaleRow 13 - Cell 2
15Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC Racing TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Ivan Balykin (Ita) RusVeloRow 17 - Cell 2
19Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 18 - Cell 2
20Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team SkyRow 19 - Cell 2
21Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.frRow 22 - Cell 2
24Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 23 - Cell 2
25Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory RacingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.frRow 25 - Cell 2
27Guillaume Boivin (Can) CannondaleRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) RusVeloRow 27 - Cell 2
29Kamil Zielinski (Pol) PolandRow 28 - Cell 2
30Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 29 - Cell 2
31Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory RacingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Davide Formolo (Ita) CannondaleRow 31 - Cell 2
33Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 32 - Cell 2
34Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.frRow 33 - Cell 2
35Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Damiano Caruso (Ita) CannondaleRow 35 - Cell 2
37Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Petr Vakoc (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 38 - Cell 2
40Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 40 - Cell 2
42Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 45 - Cell 2
47Konrad Dabkowski (Pol) PolandRow 46 - Cell 2
48Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin SharpRow 47 - Cell 2
49Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 48 - Cell 2
50Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Marco Haller (Aut) Team KatushaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenedgeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 55 - Cell 2
57Matthias Krizek (Aut) CannondaleRow 56 - Cell 2
58Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory RacingRow 58 - Cell 2
60Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.frRow 59 - Cell 2
61Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 60 - Cell 2
62Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 62 - Cell 2
64Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 63 - Cell 2
65Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 64 - Cell 2
66Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenedgeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 68 - Cell 2
70Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 69 - Cell 2
71Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica GreenedgeRow 71 - Cell 2
73Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 72 - Cell 2
74Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) CannondaleRow 74 - Cell 2
76Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 76 - Cell 2
78Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 77 - Cell 2
79Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto BelisolRow 78 - Cell 2
80Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 79 - Cell 2
81Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 80 - Cell 2
82Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) RusVeloRow 81 - Cell 2
83Artem Ovechkin (Rus) RusVeloRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 83 - Cell 2
85Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 84 - Cell 2
86Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory RacingRow 85 - Cell 2
87Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin SharpRow 87 - Cell 2
89Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 89 - Cell 2
91Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Movistar TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 95 - Cell 2
97Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team SkyRow 96 - Cell 2
98Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin SharpRow 98 - Cell 2
100Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team SkyRow 99 - Cell 2
101Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 100 - Cell 2
102Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 101 - Cell 2
103Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 102 - Cell 2
104Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 103 - Cell 2
105Larry Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 104 - Cell 2
106Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 105 - Cell 2
107Christophe Kern (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 106 - Cell 2
108Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 107 - Cell 2
109Serguei Firsanov (Rus) RusVeloRow 108 - Cell 2
110Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 109 - Cell 2
111Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 110 - Cell 2
112Davide Villella (Ita) CannondaleRow 111 - Cell 2
113Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 113 - Cell 2