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Tour de Pologne 2017: Stage 2

Peter Sagan returned to action at the Tour de Pologne on Saturday and returned to winning ways, claiming the first stage in Krakow. Stage 2 to Katowice should give the sprinters another opportunity, and Sagan swaps his rainbow bands for the yellow jersey of race leader for today's 142-kilometre leg.

General classification after stage 1:

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 2:56:06
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:04
3 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:06
4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:09
5 Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:10
6 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE-Emirates
8 Pawel Franczak (Pol) Poland
9 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal

 

142km remaining from 142km

After navigating the neutralised zone in Tarnowskie Gory, the peloton has reached kilometre zero and stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne is underway. Despite the razor-tooth look to the parcours, appearances can be deceptive. There may be some bumps in the road, but Katowice's downhill finishing straight seems destined to host a bunch sprint.

 

Katowice has traditionally been the reserve of the sprinters at the Tour de Pologne, but four years ago, Taylor Phinney upset the fast men with a canny late attack to claim his first road race win as a professional.

 

 

138km remaining from 142km

Shades of the sprint stages of the Tour de France here. The first attack of the day seems to have stuck. Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Joonas Henttala (Novo Nordisk), Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Kamil Gradek (Poland) have slipped up the road and have established a lead of one minute.

 

It's a case of deja vu all over again for Keizer. The LottoNL-Jumbo man was in the early break yesterday too, and also with riders from Novo Nordisk, CCC-Sprandi and the Polish national team.

 

136km remaining from 142km

Peter Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team sit at the head of the peloton, more than content to allow this four-man move sally clear. 1:15 the gap.

 

127km remaining from 142km

Keizer's quartet stretches its advantage out to 2:10 over the peloton. Another long day off the front is in store for the Dutchman.

 

Peter Sagan's win yesterday was his first since stage 3 of the Tour de France. It was also his first race since stage 4 of the Tour de France... After winning in Krakow, Sagan admitted that he was glad the stage had been 'only' 130 kilometres in length. Alasdair Fotheringham has the story in full here.

 

117km remaining from 142km

The four escapees' advantage now stands at 2:35, as Bora-Hansgrohe continue to police matters at the head of the peloton.

 

Alex Dowswett (Movistar) was among the riders to come down in yesterday's finishing straight crash, and the Briton was perhaps the worst-affected, but he remains in the race. There were 152 starters this morning, with Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo), who abandoned yesterday, the only absentee.

 

105km remaining from 142km

Keizer, Gradek, Henttala and Kurek extend their lead a little further, and it now stands at 2:40.

 

Away from the Tour de Pologne, a case of mechanical doping was discovered on an amateur race in Italy yesterday. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that a 53-year-old masters rider was found to have used a hidden motor in a race in Bedizzole, near Brescia. It appears that race organisers acted on a tip-off and used a thermal camera. You can find more details here.

 

91km remaining from 142km

The break still has a buffer of 2:35 as they approach the intermediate sprint at Piekary Ślaskie. Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe will be happy to allow them to hoover up the bonus seconds.

 

Adrian Kurek attacks his fellow escapees ahead of the intermediate sprint and opens a small gap.

 

Kurek leads Keizer and Gradek through the intermediate sprint. A rather more relaxed peloton passes the same point almost three minutes down, with Orica-Scott and Bora-Hansgrohe on the front.

Kurek, the Polish champion, has decided to continue with his solo effort, and he is around 200 metres ahead of Keizer, Gradek and Henttala on the road.

 

80km remaining from 142km

Kurek seems fully committed to his solo raid. He now has 50 seconds in hand on his erstwhile breakaway companions, and 3:30 on the main peloton.

 

Bora-Hansgrohe and Orica-Scott continue to set the tempo at the head of the bunch, preparing the ground for a Sagan-Ewan rematch in Katowice this afternoon.

 

No sprinter comes away satisfied with second place, but Caleb Ewan saw reason for encouragement in his display yesterday, his first competitive outing since the Giro d'Italia. (No, the Hammer Series does not count). "Tomorrow [Sunday] should be another bunch sprint, it’s the fast downhill finish [in Katowice] they have most years, so it should be pretty hectic, but it should be good," Ewan said. Alasdair Fotheringham has the full story.

 

65km remaining from 142km

Gradek, Keizer and Henttala are now 1:15 down on the relentless Kurek, and unlikely to see the Polish champion again this afternoon.

 

60km remaining from 142km

Keizer and Gradek opt to sit up and await the peloton. Henttala decides to continue in lone pursuit of Kurek, but it looks set to be a futile chase. He trails by 1:15. The peloton, meanwhile, is 2:00 down on Kurek.

 

56km remaining from 142km

Gradek and Heizer have been absorbed by the peloton, which is 2:40 before the lone leader Kurek. Hentalla is caught in no man's land, 1:35 down on Kurek.

 

52km remaining from 142km

Henttala calls a halt to his solo pursuit and is caught by the peloton. Adrian Kurek ploughs on alone at the head of the race, 1:35 clear of the peloton.

 

51km remaining from 142km

The stage finishes with three laps of a 17-kilometre finishing circuit. The Polish champion Kurek crosses the line in Katowice for the first time to raucous cheers from the home crowds. The peloton reaches the same point just 1:14 later, however.

 

48km remaining from 142km

Orica-Scott and Bora-Hansgrohe remain the most prominent contributors at the head of the bunch. The deficit has been sliced further and now stands at one minute.

 

45km remaining from 142km

The slightly downhill finishing straight in Katowice should ensure some blisteringly high speeds in the finishing sprint. The unofficial record is the 80kph clocked by Jonas Van Genechten en route to victory in 2014. Marcel Kittel hit 78kph a year later, when stage victory went to Matteo Pelucchi.

 

The peloton fans out across the road. Kurek's lead stands at 48 seconds, and none of the sprinters' teams have any desire to claw back the Polish champion too early.

 

41km remaining from 142km

Kurek is beginning to show the strain of his effort, and his leads drops inside 30 seconds for the first time.

 

38km remaining from 142km

Kurek's lone raid comes to an end, and he is pegged back by the peloton. Almost immediately, Pawel Bernas (Poland) zips off the front and opens a small gap.

 

34km remaining from 142km

Bernas approaches the finish area for the second time. With two laps of the 17km circuit remaining, he has nudged his lead out to 30 seconds.

 

Peter Sagan, in the yellow jersey this afternoon, sits well-placed near the head of the peloton as it passes the finish line.

 

31km remaining from 142km

This is a game effort from Pawel Bernas, who was already on the attack on yesterday's opening stage. The Pole is maintaining a lead of 35 seconds over the bunch, though one imagines he would have needed reinforcements if he was planning on staying clear to the finish.

 

Ruben Plaza has been very active at the head of the bunch for Orica-Scott. Bahrain-Merida have now joined the chase in numbers in support of Niccolo Bonifazio.

 

28km remaining from 142km

Bernas' lead has been shaved back to 20 seconds thanks to Bahrain-Merida's intervention.

 

27km remaining from 142km

There has been a definite increase in urgency in the peloton, as a number of sprinters' teams move up en masse and start to vie for positions at the front. Quick-Step, Sunweb, Bahrain-Merida and Bora-Hansgrohe are all represented at the front. Sagan, as ever, is tucked carefully on the wheels.

 

25km remaining from 142km

Bernas' lone attack netted him the sole king of the mountains point of the day, but that will be the extent of the spoils today for the Pole. His lead is down to 7 seconds.

 

23km remaining from 142km

Bernas' cameo comes to an end. Gruppo compatto.

 

21km remaining from 142km

Trek-Segafredo, Sunweb and Bora-Hansgrohe are all represented near the front of the race, but there's still a lap and some change to go, and no one team wants to over-commit itself at this point.

 

17km remaining from 142km

The speed is predictably high as the bunch hurtles through across the line and takes the bell for the final lap of the finishing circuit.

 

16km remaining from 142km

For the second day running, Daniel Oss (BMC) forces his way off the front on the run-in. The Italian opens a small gap over the peloton.

 

14km remaining from 142km

It's a determined effort from Oss, who has put daylight into the peloton.

 

13km remaining from 142km

Oss is looking to mimic the feat of his former BMC teammate Taylor Phinney, who held off the sprinters to win in Katowice in 2013. He'll have his work cut out, but the Italian is holding a lead of around 10 seconds over the bunch.

 

12km remaining from 142km

Oss extends his lead to 15 seconds. In response, Bora-Hansgrohe hit the front of the bunch and begin to string things out.

 

10km remaining from 142km

Sunweb join the pace-making efforts on the front and Oss' lone attack is snuffed out. 

 

9km remaining from 142km

Bora-Hansgrohe, Katusha-Alpecin and Sunweb maintain a high pace at the head of the peloton.

 

8km remaining from 142km

Daniel Oss tries once again, this time in the company of Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), but their effort is quickly brought to heel.

 

7km remaining from 142km

Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) is the next to try his luck, accelerating clear off the front, but it's going to be very difficult to defy the sprinters on this finale.

 

6km remaining from 142km

Haas is clawed back by the bunch, which is now led by CCC-Sprandi and Gazprom-Rusvelo.

 

4km remaining from 142km

Quick-Step take up the reins inside the final 4 kilometres, as the pace edges up to 70kph.

 

3km remaining from 142km

Orica-Scott take over with three kilometres to go. Astana have riders around Riccardo Minali.

 

2km remaining from 142km

Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step) punches his way clear of the peloton on the cusp of the final two kilometres.

 

1km remaining from 142km

It's a decent effort from Vakoc, who has opened a small gap and will lead into the final kilometre.

 

1km remaining from 142km

Vakoc is first beneath the flamme rouge, but he won't last much longer out in front as Sky take over.

 

Vakoc is caught and Sky begin to wind up the sprint for Danny van Poppel, before Katusha take over.

 

Sacha Modolo hits the front as the sprint begins. Ewan and Sagan seem too far back...

 

Sacha Modolo (UAE-Emirates) wins stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne.

 

Danny van Poppel came with a late charge and took second place. Max Walscheid (Sunweb) led out the sprint and held on for third.

 

Boy van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo) took fourth ahead of Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data). Sagan could only manage 8th.

 

Result:

1 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 3:15:21
2 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
3 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
4 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
5 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
6 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
7 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
10 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data

 

Danny van Poppel (Sky) moves into the yellow jersey of race leader.

 

Sagan drops to second overall, on the same time as Van Poppel, with Modolo in third, also on the same time. 

 

General classification:

 

1 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 6:11:27
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:04
5 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:06
6 Kamil Gradek (Pol) Poland 0:00:07
7 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:09
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
9 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:10
10 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo

 

 

Thanks for joining our live coverage this afternoon. A full report, results and pictures are available here, and we'll have all the news from Katowice in due course. Cyclingnews will carry live updates from stage 3 of the Tour de Pologne on Monday.

 

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