Tour of Poland stage 3: Fernando Gaviria blasts to sprint victory
Fernando Gaviria took his first victory of 2021 by winning stage 3 at the Tour of Poland.
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Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) won stage 3 of the Tour of Poland into Rzeszów, blasting past Dutch sprinter Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) in the final meters to take the victory.
It’s Gaviria’s first win of the 2021 season, and his first WorldTour victory since 2019.
“I’m really happy with the work of all my team, and I’m happy with the victory,” Gaviria said. “This is a nice victory, for a long time I try to have a victory this year and I have it now.”
Overnight leader João Almeida finished safely in the bunch to preserve his lead in the overall classification. Almeida’s next big GC test comes on Thursday as the stage finishes uphill to the Bukovina Resort. He currently leads Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious) in the overall standings by just four seconds.
The charge to the line came after a long 226-kilometer day in the saddle, which was the longest stage of this year’s Tour of Poland. The route included a series of steep climbs in the first 100 kilometers, followed by a mostly flat final half. The day saw a 10-rider breakaway separate itself just inside 200km to go, with Tom Bohli (Cofidis), Norman Vahtra (Israel Start-Up Nation), Lionel Taminiaux (Alpecin-Fenix), Niklas Markl (Team DSM), and Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), among others, in the move.
Despite stiff pace setting from Deceuninck-Quick-Step and UAE-Team Emirates, the breakaway came close to surviving all the way to the line. With 35km to go the group still held a two-minute advantage on the main field, and then, inside 20km to go, an attack by van der Hoorn blew the group apart.
Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Taminiaux marked the Dutchman’s attack, and the trio powered on ahead, holding a 30-second advantage on the main field for more than 15 kilometers. Finally, just inside 3km to go, the main field reeled them back in.
“We see everything under control but in the last 50k the break went up and we had to put one more to pull full gas in the peloton,” Gaviria said. “[We] almost didn’t take the break in the end, but I’m happy we [did].”
Results will be available once stage has completed.