Race report

Chris Hamilton impresses with 9th place in reduced bunch sprint

Tour de Pologne

Stage five of the Tour de Pologne saw the peloton faced with 153 kilometres of racing from Wieliczka to Bielsko-Biała, and the toughest hills of the race so far. A group of four escaped early into the stage and with all Team Sunweb riders in the bunch, focus turned to the stage finale and the hills that littered the closing 50 kilometres.

As the peloton upped the pace on the first category climb of Przelecz Przegibek, the bunch thinned out with riders going out the back. That increase of pace saw the breakaway caught before the top of the climb and as a result a flurry of attacks ensued. A new trio managed to get clear and quickly built up a 30 second advantage, forcing a hard chase from the bunch. They were eventually brought back at the start of the final lap but the pace did not slow down, with the peloton strung out as they took on the rapid descent. Through the final turn with around two kilometres to go, they hit the drag up to the line and Chris Hamilton was well positioned in around 20th wheel after some good work from the team.

Not known as a bunch sprinter, Hamilton delivered an impressive turn of speed in the bunch kick, coming past several riders as the line approached, taking a strong ninth place on the day. As a result, Hamilton sits in 14th place on GC with the toughest stage of the race awaiting the peloton tomorrow.

 

“I surprised myself a little with a top ten today considering the field that was still left for the sprint finish,” grinned Hamilton at the end of the stage. “I think I can put it down to all the town sign sprints we did on altitude camp recently and of course the great support from the team that I had today.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “Stage five was a tough day with some climbing and a local lap that only went up or down. From the first-category climb onwards, the bunch sped up as they made their way towards the local laps. We still had our Aussies there after the climb and we then tried to support Chris going into the last kilometre. He did quite a good job, finishing ninth in the sprint. The shape looks promising within the team and we are already looking forward to the hard day of racing tomorrow.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 MEZGEC Luka Mitchelton-Scott 3:49:55 50
2 PRADES Eduard Movistar Team ,, 20
3 SWIFT Ben Team INEOS ,, 8
9 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb ,, -
42 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb ,, -
54 STORER Michael Team Sunweb ,, -
86 POWER Robert Team Sunweb ,, -
120 WALSCHEID Max Team Sunweb 7:27 -
137 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb 9:46 -
147 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 10:39 -