Following today’s action-packed final stage, Wilco Kelderman finishes the Tour de Pologne in 4th place overall with Sam Oomen finishing 7th in the GC.
After six stages at the Tour de Pologne, the final showdown came today with six first categorised climbs totalling over 3000 metres tucked into the day’s 132 kilometre route. Starting and finishing in the Tatra Mountains, Team Sunweb set out for a tough day in the saddle looking to make the day’s final selection before the uphill kick to the finish.
It took 30 kilometres for a breakaway to snap the elastic, when a 13 rider group went clear. Whilst the group took a two and a half minute lead, Team Sunweb remained tucked inside the peloton. Wilco Kelderman found himself well looked after with team mates around him as lots of riders lost contact on the day’s steep gradients. With 35 kilometres to go two riders from the breakaway counter attacked and took a lead over the chasing group. As they were brought back together, one of the riders involved in that attack launched another attack to continue their stint up the road. Sam Oomen kept tabs on proceedings at the front of the select 10-rider chase group but with no danger to the overall standings, the rider was able to go clear. Not content with the make-up of the group, Sam Oomen launched an attack with 2.8 kilometres to go. Almost immediately the move was brought to heel and a further three riders went on the move, later brought back together before the final kilometre. The day came down to a sprint between the GC contenders where Wilco crossed the line in 4th place and Sam 7th. Wilco finishes 4th overall, 10 seconds down on the leader with Sam taking a solid 7th place overall.
“I can be satisfied with 4th place after a long training period,” said Wilco after the stage. “Today in the sprint I was a little bit boxed in when I tried to fully go for it which cost me a good sprint to finish the race off. Overall it’s been a great race, we also had Sam finish inside the top 10 which is great. It’s been a good preparation for the Vuelta and good to work together with such good corporation in the team.”
Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou said: “The final stage today was a hard one. In the end it came down to the top 10 GC contenders who battled it out on the two last climbs. It was great to see both Sam and Wilco there again. Sam especially had a brilliant day, he was for sure at his strongest from all week. On the line Poels took enough bonus seconds to pass Wilco in the GC so he finished 4th overall. This doesn’t change that he has performed brilliantly this week and made an impression. With Sam also finishing 7th in the GC and taking a total of five top 10 placings throughout the week I think we can allow ourselves to be satisfied with the week.”