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Live coverage

Tour de Pologne 2019: Stage 5


Hello and welcome today's live coverage of stage 5. 

After a day of mourning yesterday, to remember Bjorg Lambrecht, the racing returns today with stage 5 from Bielsko to Biała. 

As the stage profile shows, the riders face a rolling stage profile with four climbs on a circuit in the finale. 

The riders have just rolled out of Wieliczka for the ride south to Bielsko-Biała.

This is the moment the riders rolled out.

The mood was subdued after the emotions and grief of the last two days. However all the Lotto Soudal riders decided to ride on.

The peloton started from the Wieliczka salt mine and now head west.

There will also be two intermediate sprints in Międzybrodzie Bialski and Bielsko-Biała.

An early attack from Rutkiewicz closed down by the bunch. 

The Tour de Pologne organisers neutralised stage 4 following the death of 22-year-old Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal), who crashed during stage 3 and died later that afternoon in hospital.

Ahead of the peloton, the six Lotto Soudal riders rode to within 50 metres of the finish, then dismounted and stood, arms round each other in a long line across the narrow hill road for another minute's silence.

"This homage was something we had to do today," race organiser Czeslaw Lang told reporters afterwards. "The public came here, too, to pay their respects."

After some initial attacks and chasing, we seem to have the break of the day.

131km remaining from 154km

130km remaining from 154km

Jelle Wallays of Lotto Soudal has also joined the break, making it four riders up front.  

Bora is doing the work behind but several teams are trying to slow the chase to help their teammates up front.

It is very brave of Wallays to go in the break. He revealed his close relationship to Bjorg Lambrecht when speaking to Ann Braeckman of the Belga news agency.

Click here to read the Wallays full comments.

The speed is high in the stage on the straight roads towards Bielsko-Biała but there are also drops of rain in the air.

Here's Wallays in a short from the race. 

Gradek drops back to the CCC team car and eventually changes his bike due to a mechanical problem.   

The peloton has upped the chase of the quartet, with Maciej Bodnar of Bora doing a lot of work on the front. 

The peloton is lined out behind Bodnar. 

Planet is covered in bandages after a crash but is fighting on in the break.

112km remaining from 154km

107km remaining from 154km

101km remaining from 154km

99km remaining from 154km

Away from the Tour de Pologne, Peter Sagan's road to the Yorkshire Worlds has been outlined by Bora-Hansgrohe directeur sportif Jan Valach. The Slovakian will not ride the Vuelta a Espana and will instead line out in five one-day races between now and September 29 as he seeks a record fourth elite men's road race title. Read more here.

93km remaining from 154km

91km remaining from 154km

This is Charles Planet's fourth time in the break on this Tour de Pologne, and the Frenchman has a chance to extend his lead in the mountains classification this afternoon, with the category 2 climbs of Hucisko and Rychwald and the category 1 ascent of Przegibek to come later today. 

85km remaining from 154km

83km remaining from 154km

80km remaining from 154km

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The break is on the first climb of the day, the cat 2 climb to Hucisko, after 78km of racing.

There's a sprint for the KOM! 

Kamil Gradek (CCC Team) takes it, beating Szymon Rekita (Poland).

71km remaining from 154km

67km remaining from 154km

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60km remaining from 154km

The quartet in the break get to enjoy some shade on the climb. 

55km remaining from 154km

The peloton crests the climb at 2:10 but their chase is hampered by the twisting country roads. 

50km remaining from 154km

43km remaining from 154km

Bodnar is still pounding away on the front, like a metronome. Behind him are A lone Gazprom rider and several Cofidis riders.

Our man Alasdair Fotheringham has done a recon of the finish, revealing it is a very long, draggy uphill finish, more than a kilometre, at about two to three percent.

39km remaining from 154km

36km remaining from 154km

Nick Schultz, Damien Howson and Tsgabu Grmay are doing big, high-speed  turns on the front as they climbs gradually kicks in.

34km remaining from 154km

Wallays pushes on but the peloton can seem them. 

Gruppo compatto!

Lotto Soudal seem determined to get a result today, with another rider going on the attack.  

An Astana rider gos with him and is first  to the top of the cat 1 climb.  

Davide Formolo joins the two up front but he is perhaps riding for teammate and race leader Ackermann.

31km remaining from 154km

The riders are close to entering Bielsko-Biała and so face the short but steep climb four times.

Each 7.2km lap includes at least 3km of climbing. 

Mohoric goes on the attack, using his aero tuck skills to help open a gap. 

He's trying to time trial away but is on his own.

He is first through the intermediate sprint point, with Ben Swift (Ineos) taking the sprint behind. 

26km remaining from 154km

Mohoric seems to eased on the climb, waiting for other riders to attack and come across to him.

21km remaining from 154km

19km remaining from 154km

Bora and Deceuninck are leading the chase but they face  a tough task. The trio are working well together.

The climb means the sprinters' teams cannot  go too hard or else they will hurt their leaders. 

Th finish area is at the top of the gradual climb and so it will hurt everyone, especially on the last time up.

Pieter Serry is doing the work for Deceuninck, hoping Fabio Jakobsen can then win the sprint.

11km remaining from 154km

The trio of Geschke, Grmay and Mohoric lead by 15 seconds as Bora go deep to chase them.

10km remaining from 154km

This is a shot of Ackermann in the peloton. Her is also trying to hang onto yellow today. 

7km remaining from 154km

The trio lead by just 6 seconds.

Ouch! the speed is up to 60km/h as the trio are swept up. 

3km remaining from 154km

The peloton is split after a huge turn by Vasil Kiryienka of Ineos.

2km remaining from 154km

There's a slight headwind in the finish.

1km remaining from 154km

But here come Ineos!

Swift is on Tao Gegoehan Hart's wheel. 


Luka Mezgec gets it! 

Swift kicked hard but it was perhaps early and he had to go on the wheels. 

Mezgec lies on the road after a huge effort.

But he gets up and begins to celebrate with his Mitchelton-Scott teammates.

Mezgec has won two stages in Poland.

Pascal Ackermann fionished in the middle of pack but keeps the leader's yellow jersey.

The German and Mezgc are the only two winners of stages so far, having taken two wins each. 

Eduard Prades of Movistar was second after a late charge, with Swift taking third, Vakoc of Deceuninck fourth and Pierre Latour (AG2R) fifth.  

This is the top ten for the stage.

This is the new top ten on GC after stage 5

Mezgec and Swift took some bonus seconds in the sprint but Ackermann still leads by 4 seconds.

However the overall classification is expected to change massively on Thursday with the first mountain stage in the beautiful Tatras mountains in the south of Poland.

This is the first shot of the sprint and Mezgec celebrating his win.

Ackermann is last on stage to collect the leader's yellow jersey.

These images show how  Mezgec dominated the sprint.  

Swift kicked early but Mezgec soon surged past him in a lower gear but with huge power and opened a gap.

Here Mezgec kicks hard and already has a gap on his rivals. He would go on to win by 3 bike lengths.

Mezgec had plenty of time to celebrate, his rivals well behind him.

To read our full Tour de Pologne stage report and see the full results and a photo gallery, click here.

In other racing today, the Netherlands claimed victory in the inaugural mixed team time trial on Wednesday, as the new format was debuted at the European Championships.

Peter Sagan is currently enjoying a few days off after the Tour de France riding his Gran Fondo in Panama.

There re lots of reports and rumours circulating about teams and rider transfers. 

However Riis has told a Danish television channel via a text message that rumours in the French press that he's interested in buying the Swiss Katusha-Alpecin WorldTour team are "new to me".

After securing the services of world-class sprinter Elia Viviani, Cofidis have strengthened in the stage racing department with the signing of Guillaume Martin from Wanty-Gobert.

To read Daniel Benson's transfer mechanics story on Viviani's move to Cofidis, click here.

To keep up to date on all the rider transfers, check out our special guide by clicking here.

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