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Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) dropped everyone with 50km to go in a hilly, demanding circuit finale to clinch victory Saturday and take the overall lead with one stage to go at the Tour of Poland.
The 20-year-old, who has already won three stage races in three starts so far in 2020, surged clear in the “queen” stage to put everyone in trouble going on to win by nearly two minutes. He crossed the line holding aloft race number 75 in tribute to seriously injured teammate Fabio Jakobsen.
“Fabio was in my head the whole time,” Evenepoel said.
“This morning I deliberately asked our press officer to arrange a Fabio shirt number … The pain I suffered today cannot be compared to the pain that Fabio has to suffer. He has given me strength.”
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) tried to put up a brave fight, but there was no bringing Evenepoel back in the 152.9km fourth stage from Bukovina Resort to Bukowina Tatrzanska.
Overnight leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos), who won in dramatic fashion in Friday’s third stage with a late-stage attack to surprise the sprinters, crashed early in the stage. When the action opened up, the Ecuadoran was unable to follow the wheels.
The reduced, five-day Tour de Pologne concludes Sunday with another challenging stage, running 188km from Zakopane to Kraków. Evenepoel hold a 1:52 advantage over second-place Fuglsang.
Stage 4 results:
- Remco Evenepoel (Deceunick-Quick-Step): 03:55:52
- Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): +0:01:48
- Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:02:22
- Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:02:22
- Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): +0:03:05
- Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb): +0:03:05
- Kamil Malecki (CCC) : +0:03:08
- Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton Scott): +0:03:08
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): +0:03:08
- Max Schachmann (Bora Hansgrohe): +0:03:09
GC after stage 4:
- Remco Evenepoel (Deceunick-Quick-Step): 16:58:28
- Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): +0:01:52
- Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:02:28
- Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): +0:02:32
- Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): +0:03:09
- Kamil Malecki (CCC): +0:03:12
- Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb): +0:03:15
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) : +0:03:18
- Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:03:18
- Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates): +0:03:10