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Written by Tour de Pologne Media Relations   
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 09:12

Brit Alex Dowsett (Movistar) captures the final time trial in Krakow

Brit Alex Dowsett (Movistar) captures the final time trial in Krakow

18 July, 2016 – The 2016 Tour de Pologne belongs to Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal). Against the splendid background of the Marketplace Square in Krakow, the Belgian defended his Skandia yellow jersey in the 25 km individual time trial and took home the win in the 73rd edition of the Polish stage race. Wellens built this success on Saturday with his fantastic performance in the Zakopane stage, and now he can celebrate his victory in the Tour de Pologne.

It was a battle between the time trial specialists, who were all vying for victory in this stage. The best time belonged to Alex Dowsett (Movistar), the British champion in this specialty who closed out with a time of 28'59" ahead of Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) and Slovenian champion Primoz Roglic. There was an upset in the general classification behind Tim Wellens, with two young Italian riders who took second and third place. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) was the author of a great performance in the time trial (sixth at 49”), recuperating valuable seconds on those ahead of him in the classification at the start and moving up to second place. Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale Pro Cycling) also had an outstanding test, scoring third place to the disadvantage of his team mate Davide Formolo, who had been second before the time trial. For the two Italian riders this is the best result ever scored in a World Tour race.

President of the UCI Brian Cookson joined Czlach Lang on stage to reward the winners of the Tour de Pologne. In addition to the yellow jersey, TIM Wellens also received the “Polish Evolutions” Trophy created by the artist from Trento, Mirko Demattè, along with the traditional trophy from the Wieliczka Salt Mines and a new Hyundai Tucson SUV.

"Yes it’s a really nice victory; I’m really happy about it, its World Tour level, it’s also a really nice race, very well organized," declared Wellens "We had a little bit of bad luck yesterday with the weather, but you can’t do anything about that; it was the right decision to cancel it, I would have preferred normal conditions so we could ride the race but you can do nothing about it, like I said, but yeah, I’m really happy with the victory. For Rio: It’s not because I’ve won here that I am sure to be selected for Rio; before the race I was already pretty sure I would go. For sure it’s a nice race to do before Rio, it gets you into good shape.
Compared to the Giro: it’s a little different because this is a short race, of course. The victory in the Giro was also very nice and very special, this victory looks a little like the win in the Eneco tour; they are both nice races, both World Tour events, both are well organized, that’s for sure. They are pretty much the same. This was my first time in the Tour de Pologne, it was a great race to do, with a nice route, and they say there are usually many, many fans, but I think because of the weather maybe there were a little less, but it was a nice race to ride."

Tim Wellens is confirmed as the master of the 2016 Tour de Pologne. In fact, in addition to the Skandia yellow jersey, he’s also taking home the Tauron cyclamen jersey as best climber and the Lotto blue jersey as the most active rider in the group. His team, Lotto Soudal, scored the Team classification. The Hyundai white jersey for best sprinter went instead to the third rider in the general classification, Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

I’m happy. It was a struggle just to get to this stage but certainly two days ago, in Saturday’s stage, I really had to fight just to stay in the race," declared Dowsett. "Today for the TT I wasn’t sure how I was going to go, I had reconned the circuit, my legs didn’t feel great on the warm up, but then in the race things were fine. It was a really good TT for me. My numbers were decent; I paced it well. Yeah, it was difficult: tailwind out, headwind back, which makes it difficult to judge your pace, but yes, I am happy."

"It was an important day because when we started, the team told me, “Fabio, if you do a good Time Trial you can be on the podium.” For me, after a big crash and after 3 months out of racing, to be on the podium, in second place is a really fantastic job well done. For the morale of the team, it’s important. The last kilometre was incredible, because at a certain point I didn’t even see the road, because I was giving it everything I had. But when you have the morale and a good director, who is saying "go, go, go!" every second (through the radio), you get a good rhythm going, you can see the podium, morale starts to climb, this is how it was," declared Felline.

The Tour de Pologne gave us plenty of thrills in this edition as well, confirming its reputation for bringing especially the young talents in the group to the limelight," declared the General Manager fort the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang. "The first stages featured great final sprint victories by Gaviria, Bonifazio and Martinelli. Then there were the two mountain stages which traditionally decide the race. Unfortunately, lousy weather conditions worked against us, forcing us to cancel the stage in Bukowina. It was a difficult decision but it was the right thing to do, to protect the safety of the riders. However, in Zakopane we saw an exciting stage with a great winner. Wellens pulled off a feat from other times, with a long break and a fantastic solo move in the final, which in fact delivered him the victory in this Tour de Pologne. It was a punishing day for the group, which nonetheless catapulted those riders like Wellens, who love a hard race and who manage to shine in situations where difficult weather comes in to play." 

The adventure of the Tour de Pologne doesn’t end here. On Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th, the first edition of the Tour de Pologne Women will take place with three stages in two days.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 09:27