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Written by Tour de Pologne Media Relations   
Saturday, 16 July 2016 20:30

He wins alone under the rain and captures the yellow jersey

He wins alone under the rain and captures the yellow jersey

16 July, 2016 – It was an old time type of day today at the Tour de Pologne, with Tim Wellens winning in solitary and becoming the new yellow jersey. The 5th stage from Wielicka to Zakopane changed things around in the Polish stage race. In addition to its 225 kilometres and 7 mountain primes, the weather also played a part in making things even more difficult for the riders. The rain fell nonstop from the start, with low temperatures hovering around 9-10 degrees. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

About twenty brave men took the situation in hand right away, remaining in front of the race as they came into the final circuit in Zakopane (50 km to repeat twice): Jonathan Castroviejo, Ruben Fernandez, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep), Davide Villella, Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac), Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), Nicholas Roche (Team Sky), Alessandro De Marchi, Philippe Gilbert, (BMC), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tim Wellens and Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Hugo Houle (Ag2r), Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Pawel Cieslik (Verva Activejet), Niko Denz (Ag2r) and Leopold Konig (Team Sky).
During the first lap around the circuit, 3 riders took the initiative: Belgian Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Italian Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale) and Pole Pawel Cieslik (Verva Activejet). The three continued their attack and began the last lap in the lead, with an advantage of about 40” on the pair formed by Belgian Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) and Czech Leopold Konig (Sky). Farther back, about 3 minutes out, the larger part of the pack started gradually breaking up into several little groups with those who survived this gruelling day. During the last lap the Belgian Tim Wellens managed to shake off his two fugitive companions and after riding alone for more than 40 Km he won decisively on the finish line in Zakopane, almost 4 minutes in front of Davide Formolo (Cannondale Pro Cycling), who came from behind to perform a beautiful comeback in the final for second place. Third across the finish line was the winner’s team mate, Tiesj Benoot, while fourth and fifth place in the classification went to Italians Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) and Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale Pro Cycling). This year Tim Wellens has already won the Roccaraso stage in the Giro d’Italia and a stage in the Paris-Nice, and he also triumphed in the last two editions of the Eneco Tour. In addition to capturing today’s stage and the Skandia yellow jersey as leader of the GC, he also scored the Tauron cyclamen jersey for best climber and the Lotto blue jersey for most active rider in the group. The new yellow jersey now leads the general classification with an advantage of 4’05” on Formolo and 4’50” on Benoot.

Fernando Gaviria didn't finish the stage today so the Hyundai white jersey of the sprinter classification now is of Moreno Hofland (Team LottoNL-Jumbo). Team Movistar leads the team classification. 

Instead it was an unlucky day for Michal Kwiatkowski after a good first part of Tour de Pologne. Unfortunately today Kwiatkowski, who was in the main group chasing the 20 fugitives, got caught in a pileup on a descent on the stretch of road before the entrance to the circuit in Zakopane and he made it to the finish line much later, 26’29” behind.

“I feel really cold right now, and really tired! No, but today I had a good day, my legs were good,” declared Wellens. “I got into the breakaway with Sander Armee, he did a lot of work for me and we had a good advantage over the other group coming from behind: the peloton, I don't know how many riders survived in the peloton but then, before the peloton caught up I attacked with two others, then I went alone and then two others caught up and then I went alone again, it was far to go solo but on a parcours like this that goes uphill and downhill without any flat stretches, it’s not a disadvantage to be alone, especially when it is wet, so thanks to that I was able to survive until the finish line. I’ve never won with a 4 minute advantage before, so it’s pretty special. Yes, tomorrow: they say it’s going to be much harder than today so I think everybody will suffer. I don’t know how many riders are still in the race but I think everybody suffered today and they say that tomorrow there will be a lot of rain again. Normally I like the rain, I like to race in it but today was really cold so, we will see how it is tomorrow; but I have a good advantage and we have a good team and we will do our best to keep the lead.”

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TourdePologne_Stage5_ThePodium_ATC.jpg - ©ATCommunication
TourdePologne_Stage5_Wellens wins_ATC.JPG - ©ATCommunication
TourdePologne_Stage5_Wellens_ATC.jpg - ©ATCommunication
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 Tim Wellens


 Tim Wellens


 Tim Wellens


Last Updated on Saturday, 16 July 2016 20:45