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Tour de Pologne 2017: Stage 7

It's a tightly-packed general classification on the Tour de Pologne ahead of its final stage. Dylan Teuns (BMC) carries a lead of just 6 seconds over home favourite Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgroghe), with Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) just a further 4 seconds back in third. Just 43 seconds separate the first 12 riders on GC, and this afternoon's short but very demanding final leg - some 3,000 metres of climbing crammed into 132 kilometres - has the potential to turn the classification on its head.

General classification:

1 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 23:41:27
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:10
4 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:13
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:18
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:19
7 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:24
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:25
9 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:28
10 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:29
11 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:33
12 Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:43
13 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ 0:01:52
14 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:00
15 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:05

 

Today's stage gets underway at 3.30pm local time, and features two laps of a 66-kilometre circuit, beginning and ending in the Tatra Mountains resoirt of Bukowina. There are no fewer than six category 1 climbs on the agenda, plus a stiff uphill finish.

 

The peloton is making its way through the short neutralised zone before the start. There was a heavy thunder shower just before the riders began to sign on, meaning that temperatures are relatively cool for the afternoon's racing.

 

132km remaining from 132km

The flag is dropped and the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Pologne is under way. There are four non-starters this afternoon: Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Gregory Daniel (Trek-Segafredo), Erik Baska (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale) have all left the race.

 

It's been a rapid start to proceedings but despite the early flurry of attacks, no break has gained any traction just yet. After the downhill opening, the bunch hits the short, sharp climb of Lapszanka, and that could provide a springboard for an early escape.

 

World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacks alone from the peloton and builds a lead of 20 seconds. This move surely won't pass without a reaction.

 

Sagan conceded 15 minutes yesterday and is no danger on GC, but he could be a most useful foil for his teammate Rafal Majka. With that in mind, BMC set about whittling down the Slovak's advantage.

 

125km remaining from 132km

Sagan's brief rally off the front comes to an end, and he is swept up by the peloton just before the race hits the day's first categorised climb.

 

Tyler Farrar (Dimension Data), meanwhile, has abandoned the Tour de Pologne in the opening kilometres of the final stage. The American - like several riders in the field - is on the start list of the BinckBank Tour, which gets underway on Monday.

 

 

Rather than melt back into the peloton, Sagan rides on the front on the lower slopes of the day's opening climb.

 

121km remaining from 132km

The first ascent of Lapszanka has failed to separate the peloton. Moreno Moser (Astana) leads over the summit ahead of Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal), Diego Rosa (Sky), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac) and Sagan.

 

Sagan attacks again over the other side of the climb, and this time his move has had a more wide-ranging effect. The bunch has been scattered into three distinct groups for the time being. Both Teuns and Majka are currently in the second group on the road.

 

The gap between the first and second groups on the road stretches out to 38 seconds. Movistar perform much of the pace-making at the front, though their highest-placed rider is Gorka Izagirre, 14th at 2:00.

 

There are 13 riders in the front group, including Sagan and the race leader Dylan Teuns. Majka is in the second group, 20 seconds down on the leaders.

 

100km remaining from 132km

Reports of Teuns' presence in the front group appear to have been exaggerated. Race radio names Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step Floors), Robert Power, Ruben Plaza (Orica-Scott), Rory Sutherland, Dayer Quintana (Movistar), Diego Rosa (Sky), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin), Daan Olivier (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Niko Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) and Paweł Cieslik (Poland) as the riders off the front of the race.

 

Sagan's group of 13 riders has a lead of 1:15 over the main body of the peloton, which includes Majka. 

 

94km remaining from 132km

UAE-Emirates set the pace in the main peloton, with a delegation of Teuns' BMC teammates tucked in behind them. The gap has extended to 1:50. Vakoc is the highest-placed rider in the 13-man front group, some 4:15 off Teuns' overall lead.

 

The escapees begin the second climb of the day to Sierockie. Plaza and Denz show signs of struggling at the rear of the group. In the main peloton, meanwhile, Sacha Modolo leads on behalf of UAE-Emirates and their GC hopeful Rui Costa, who began the day 9th overall at 28 seconds.

 

90km remaining from 132km

Diego Rosa (Sky) leads the break over the second climb of the day with a lead of 2:30 on the peloton. Sutherland is second to the top, followed by Slagter, Sagan and Power.

 

Denz was struggling to follow the pace on the lower slopes, and the German was distanced by the rest of the breakaway group midway up the climb.

 

81km remaining from 132km

Sagan et al have a lead of 2:40 over the bunch as they drop towards the base of the third of the day's six categorised climbs.

 

The twelve survivors at the head of the race are on the steep ascent of Sciana Bukovina. Vakoc is particularly active on the 22% slopes, while Rosa sits comfortably on his wheel.

 

Rosa takes over on the front near the top. Sagan has been struggling towards the rear of this front group, but the world champion looks like he'll manage to hold on to the summit.

 

UAE-Emirates, meanwhile, continue to set the pace in the peloton, 2:40 down on Rosa and the leaders.

 

Plenty of riders are losing contact at the rear of the peloton on these steep gradients. The yellow jersey Teuns remains well-positioned near the front, however, ensconced in a phalanx of BMC jerseys.

 

77km remaining from 132km

Rosa led over the climb, incidentally, ahead of Cieslik and Novak. The escapees tackle a brace of unclassified climbs - including the haul to the finish - before they cross the line to end the first lap of this 66km circuit.

 

75km remaining from 132km

The skies are overcast but the roads mercifully dry as the twelve leaders descent towards the foot of the climb to the finish line. There is no particular urgency in the peloton, where UAE-Emirates and BMC remain prominent.

 

Movistar have two riders in this break, but the team already has reason for celebration this afternoon: Carlos Barbero won stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos, beating Gianni Moscon (Sky) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) uphill in the sprint.

 

68km remaining from 132km

Rosa, Sagan et al get their first sighter of the finishing climb. "The finishing climb (unclassified), tackled twice, is basically a five kilometer 'step', with a steep chunk in the middle but much easier on either side," Alasdair Fotheringham reports. Rosa and Sagan are over the worst of it and pedalling towards the finish line, where they'll take the bell for the second and final lap of this large circuit.

 

66km remaining from 132km

Pawel Cieslik leads the break through the finish line to raucous applause from the home support. Their lead over the bunch stands at 2:10.

 

UAE-Team Emirates lead the peloton past the same point, Teuns, Majka and Rui Costa are all positioned towards the front of the bunch. 

 

61km remaining from 132km

The break is on the same sweeping descent where Sagan launched his first attack in the opening kilometres of the stage. The twelve leaders are continuing to collaborate smoothly for the time being, but UAE-Emirates are ensuring that their advantage doesn't stretch far north of two minutes.

 

58km remaining from 132km

This has been a most determined effort from UAE-Emirates as they lay the groundwork for Rui costa. Their forcing is beginning to provoke gaps in the peloton ahead of the fourth categorised climb of the day. The break's lead, meanwhile, has been pared back to 1:45.

 

57km remaining from 132km

Rosa stretches out the leading group as they begin the climb, before Spilak takes over. 

 

Back in the main bunch, meanwhile, Teuns remains to the fore as the gradient begins to bite and UAE-Emirates continue their forcing.

 

Rosa leads the break over the climb of Lapszanka. Sagan was briefly distanced near the summit, but the world champion is almost within touching distance as they begin the descent.

 

Sagan and Daan Olivier are back in contact with Rosa, Spilak et al as they drop from the summit.

 

48km remaining from 132km

Into the final 50 kilometres for Sagan and his fellow escapees, who have a lead of 2:20 over the main peloton. They are on the flattest segment of this most undulating course, and they will need to find common cause here if they are to stay clear of the bunch.

 

43km remaining from 132km

Matej Mohoric (UAE-Emirates) rides on the front of the peloton, which remains 2:20 behind the escapees.

 

38km remaining from 132km

Mohoric's pace-setting has helped to slash the break's lead to 1:07.

 

36km remaining from 132km

Teuns is surrounded by a group of BMC teammates towards the head of the peloton, including Tejay van Garderen.

 

35km remaining from 132km

At the front of the race, Sagan jumps clear of the break with Plaza for company. The world champion and the Spaniard quickly open a gap.

 

33km remaining from 132km

Sagan and Plaza open a lead of 22 seconds over their erstwhile companions, while the peloton is now just a minute behind.

 

30km remaining from 132km

Sagan and Plaza have definitively distanced the rest of the break, which is now 43 seconds down.

 

Plaza could prove a useful foil for his Orica-Scott teammate Adam Yates on the final succession of climbs. Yates began the day in 6th place overall, 19 seconds down on Teuns.

 

27km remaining from 132km

Sagan and Plaza begin the penultimate climb of Sierockie, and almost as soon as the gradient begins to bite, the world champion drops his companion.

 

26km remaining from 132km

Sagan looks over his shoulder to check on Plaza, who has been caught by Diego Rosa, a man who might be Wout Poel's proxy in the finale.

 

Rosa drops Plaza and sets off alone in pursuit of Sagan.

 

24km remaining from 132km

Sagan leads alone over the summit of Sierockie. Rosa is within sight of Sagan but still has some work to do to link up with the world champion. Plaza grinds on alone in third place on the road.

 

Back in the main peloton, Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) jumps off the front over the top of the climb and tries to bring a counter attack clear with him.

 

19km remaining from 132km

Sagan opened a lead of 40 seconds over Rosa on the descent, with Marczynski dangling just ahead of the peloton a further 30 seconds back.

 

17km remaining from 132km

Sagan begins the final categorised climb, Sciana Bukowina, whose gradient stiffens to 22% around its midpoint. For the time being, the slopes are rather more benign, and Sagan is tapping out a decent tempo.

 

BMC have now taken up the reins in the main peloton on behalf of Teuns, and they are in the process of picking off the remnants of the day's early break. Only Sagan, Rosa and Marczynski remain ahead.

 

16km remaining from 132km

Rohan Dennis leads for BMC, with Tejay van Garderen and Teuns on his wheel. They are at the head of a reduced peloton, a little over a minute behind Sagan.

 

15km remaining from 132km

Sagan has 25 seconds in hand on Rosa as he approaches the steeper sections on the climb. The peloton is still a minute back.

 

14km remaining from 132km

Sagan weaves across the road as he battles with the stiff 22% gradient. Rosa has yet to reach this stiff section, and Marczynski is a little further back on more gentle slopes.

 

Back in the main peloton, Franco Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida) goes on the offensive to lay the groundwork for his leader Vincenzo Nibali.

 

Sagan hits the steepest part of the climb. A crowd of Slovak fans run behind him brandishing a flag, as he continues to grind his way up. Rosa remains 25 seconds back.

 

Pellizotti is brought to heel as Wout Poels (Sky) takes over at the front of the yellow jersey group.

 

Rafal Majka's much-anticipated attack comes just before the steepest part of the climb. He hasn't quite shaken himself clear, but he rides on the front of the dwindling yellow jersey group with Poels.

 

13km remaining from 132km

Sagan leads over the climb. Rosa follows alone 35 seconds back. Marczynski is pegged back as the speed rises in the yellow jersey group.

 

Poels accelerates viciously near the summit and stretches out the yellow jersey group as they begin the descent. Majka is live to the danger, but some of the contenders could risk losing contact ahead of the final uncategorised climbs.

 

11km remaining from 132km

Poels continues to force the pace on the descent in the yellow jersey group, which is down to just nine riders. Majka, Pozzovivo, and Adam Yates are present, but Nibali is among the absentees.

 

10km remaining from 132km

Sagan begins to climb once again with a lead of 22 seconds over Rosa, who is about to be caught by the reduced yellow jersey group.

 

Poels forces the pace on the climb and brings Jack Haig with him. They bridge across to Diego Rosa. Dylan Teuns, meanwhile, has been distanced by Majka et al as the yellow jersey group fragments.

 

10km remaining from 132km

Poels, Rosa and Haig join Sagan at the front of the race. They have a lead of 20 seconds or so over Majka and the splintered chasing group.

 

Sagan drops back and waits for the Majka group to bridge across. Teuns is further behind, being paced by Van Garderen.

 

The Majka group catches Sagan, and then Poels and Haig. Rosa, meanwhile, swings off, his work at the front done. 

 

Sagan, Majka, Poels, Sam Oomen (Sunweb), Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), Haig and Adam Yates are in the front group. Teuns and Van Garderen are in the process of bridging back up.

 

7km remaining from 132km

Sagan jumps off the front once again and opens a small gap. Meanwhile, Teuns and Van Garderen join Poels, Majka, Haig, Oomen, Kelderman and Yates in the chasing group.

 

5km remaining from 132km

Sagan's lead extends to 20 seconds once again as he deals comfortably with the dips and rises that lead towards the final haul towards the line.

 

Sagan leads by 20 seconds from Poels, Majka, Yates, Pozzovivo, Haig, Teuns, Van Garderen, Oomen and Kelderman.

 

3km remaining from 132km

Sagan approaches the short final climb to the finish. Poels pours on the pressure in the chasing group, while Teuns struggles grimly at the very back.

 

A seated Sagan begins the climb. The world champion has been on the attack for almost the entire stage, but though he wears a grimace, he is still pedalling quite smoothly.

 

3km remaining from 132km

Sam Oomen breaks the deadlock in the yellow jersey group and attacks. Poels gives chase.

 

After Oomen is brought to heel, Haig launches an attack that only Pozzovivo can follow. This duo is closing in on Sagan.

 

2km remaining from 132km

Sagan is caught and passed by Haig and Pozzovivo. Majka accelerates immediately and brings the rest of the group up to the leaders.

 

2km remaining from 132km

Majka continues his effort and only Teuns and Poels can follow. They open a small gap over Yates, Kelderman et al.

 

1km remaining from 132km

Majka looks for help from Teuns, who shakes his head. The BMC man is simply on marking duty here.

 

1km remaining from 132km

Majka makes another tentative effort, but nothing comes of it. The chasers are closing in on Teuns, Majka and Poels.

 

1km remaining from 132km

The group comes back together with a kilometre to go and Van Garderen leads beneath the flamme rouge.

 

Majka accelerates on the right side of the road but he can't open a gap.

 

Adam Yates moves to the front, but Wout Poels comes around him.

 

Wout Poels (Sky) wins stage 7 of the Tour de Pologne ahead of Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe).

 

Dylan Teuns (BMC) took fourth on the stage and that should be enough to win the final general classification of the Tour de Pologne.

 

Majka picks up a 4-second bonus for third place, but Teuns finished in the same time and will win the race overall by 2 seconds from the Pole.

 

Teuns was in fact fifth on the stage, nudged out by Kelderman, but it will make no difference. He wins the Tour de Pologne overall. A disappointed Majka shakes his head as he cross the line. 

 

Van Garderen played a fine supporting role for Teuns this afternoon, and particularly in that final kilometre, where his pace-making helped to ensure that the group finished together.

 

Result:

 

1 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 03:28:20
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
5 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:05
7 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:12
8 Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott 00:00:14
9 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:18
10 Rui Costa (Por) Team UAE Emirates 00:00:54

 

General Classification:

 

1 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 03:07:47
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:02
3 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:00:03
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:10
5 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 00:00:13
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:23
7 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:36
8 Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott 00:00:57
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:01:19
10 Rui Costa (Por) Team UAE Emirates 00:01:22

 

It's the biggest win of Dylan Teuns' career as he continues his fine run of recent form following his victory at the Tour de Wallonie last month. The Belgian youngster also placed third at Fleche Wallonne in April, and is set to be part of BMC's team at the Vuelta a Espana.

 

Thanks for joining our live coverage from this week's Tour de Pologne. A full report, results and pictures will follow here, and we'll have all the news and reaction from a dramatic final day of racing in Poland here on Cyclingnews.

 

 

 

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