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Tour de Pologne 2019: Stage 2


It looks set to be another day for the fast men at the Tour de Pologne, as stage 2 brings the race from Tarnowskie Góry to the wickedly fast downhill finish in Katowice. The 153km stage features two category 4 climbs, but they shouldn't discommode the sprinters. 

The stage gets underway at 14:55 CET. The overall standings are as follows after Pascal Ackermann's victory in yesterday's opener in Krakow:

Yesterday, Pascal Ackermann won the opening stage in Krakow for the second successive year, and this afternoon the German will look to continue living like it's 2018. Twelve months ago, he emerged victorious in Katowice on stage 2

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After yesterday's intermittent rain, the Tour de Pologne is racing beneath blue skies and in temperatures of 25 degrees in the early kilometres this afternoon.

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It looks as though Planet and Franczak have been granted their freedom by the peloton, as their advantage stretches outwards.

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The 27-year-old Franczak rides for the Voster ATS Team and he placed 8th in yesterday's bunch finish in Krakow, but has decided to try his luck in the early escape this afternoon.

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Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) is on hand at the Tour de Pologne after the disappointment of missing out on selection for the Tour de France for the first time in his career. The Manxman endured a frustrating afternoon in Krakow yesterday when a late crash prevented him from contesting the bunch sprint, but he will hope for better fortune in Katowice. "Cav was our card for the final, but he couldn’t contest the sprint after being caught up in that tricky corner. It was more than a 90-degree corner and quite narrow. With everyone fighting for position, there wasn’t a lot of space," said directeur sportif Alex Sans Vega. "We will go again tomorrow." Read more here.

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Another man missing from the Tour this year was John Degenkolb, though the German told Alasdair Fotheringham that he was not altogether unhappy with his 'Plan B' schedule of the Tour de Pologne and Vuelta a Espana as he builds towards the Worlds in Yorkshire. "I’ve been training for three weeks at altitude in Livigno, so I feel fresh and ready to race again," Degenkolb said. "I’m still lacking some intensity here, but I’ll get that for sure here this week when I’m racing." Read the full story here.

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Away from the Tour de Pologne, 19-year-old Remco Evenepoel soloed to victory at the Clasica San Sebastian yesterday, a display that even earned that rarest accolade, praise from Roger De Vlaeminck. Cyrille Guimard, meanwhile, compared the Belgian youngster to Merckx, Hinault, Bernal and, fittingly given his football background, Kylian Mbappé. Evenepoel, meanwhile, will now ride the European Championships time trial, the Tour of Germany and possibly the WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal as he bids to earn selection for the Yorkshire Worlds. Read more here.

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Conditions were pleasant through the opening exchanges, but the two leaders are now riding beneath dark clouds and it seems a heavy rain shower is imminent.

A gradual injection of pace in the peloton, meanwhile, has seen the escapees' lead sliced to 4:30.

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The RideLondon Classique ended in controversy yesterday when Kirsten Wild, first across the line, was disqualified for causing a crash in the finishing straight, and the victory passed to Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg). Read more here. The men's edition of the race takes place this afternoon.

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British champion Ben Swift (Ineos) sprinted to take a rather more fiercely contested third place in the sprint. The Briton was in contention for stage honours yesterday but mistimed his sprint, opening his effort from rather further out than he had intended. "Well safe to say I misjudged that sprint pretty badly," Swift wrote on Twitter. "I knew I needed to go early to stand a chance. But that was really early." 

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Deceunick-QuickStep have taken over at the head of the peloton on behalf of Fabio Jakobsen, but there is no particular urgency in their pursuit as the gap edges out towards two minutes.

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Jungels leads the way down slope and towards the finishing straight...

Trek-Segafredo take over for John Degenkolb.

Fernando Gaviria opens his sprint from a long way out...

Luka Mezgec comes off Gaviria's wheel...

Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) wins stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) placed second, while Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took third. 

Mezgec came from way, way back in that sprint. The Slovenian found his way onto Gaviria's wheel, however, and then produced his finest sprint in years to claim victory.

Danny van Poppel placed 4th ahead of Marc Sarreau. Further back, a disappointed Fabio Jakobsen managed to get blocked in but he already had a lot of ground to make up at that juncture.

Max Walscheid (Sunweb) took 6th ahead of Sacha Modolo (EF Education First).

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) retains the yellow jersey, 2 seconds ahead of Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and 4 ahead of Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott).

Mezgec was a stage winner at the Tour of Slovenia in June, but this is his first WorldTour win since 2014, when he racked up stage victories at the Giro d'Italia, Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of Beijing.


General Classification after stage 2:



A full report, results and pictures from today's stage will be available here. A report from today's RideLondon Classic, which has just finished, is available here.

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