Race report

Attacking display sees Jai Hindley finish 3rd with Chris Hamilton 9th in queen stage at Tour de Pologne

Tour de Pologne

Awaiting the rider’s at the Tour de Pologne today was the queen stage of the race and one that featured over 3200 metres of climbing, with 160 kilometres on the menu from Zakopane to Kościelisko. With the parcours rolling for most of the stage, it proved to be a difficult day in the saddle.

The battle was intense from the start with numerous teams and riders looking to form the break of the day. Robert Power got into a large group that was 25 riders strong and they initially managed to gain a 45 second advantage over the peloton. However, the gap was never allowed to grow out any further and they were soon brought back. The fight continued before a group of four eventually got clear and formed the breakaway.

The peloton always kept them close and as the kilometres and climbs ticked by, the gap diminished. Coming into the final 50 kilometres an elite group of around 30 riders was what remained of the peloton, with Chris Hamilton, Jai Hindley and Michael Storer riding strongly to represent the team. With the breakaway caught, the counter attacks continued to fly with Hindley very active at the front, joining a group of 16 that broke clear. There was a lack of cooperation in that group and with other teams pulling behind, Storer and Hamilton were soon back in what was now the lead group.

Yet even more attacks came throughout the remainder of the stage, before Hindley forced what was the race winning move with around 12 kilometres to go. The attacking trio caught lone-leader, Swift, before dropping him on the final climb of the day. On the descent Hindley managed to get a small gap but wasn’t able to drop his companions and the trio would fight it out in a sprint to the line. After leading down the descent, Hindley was forced to open up his sprint from the front and ended up finishing in third place: a great result for the young Australian climber with what is his first podium at WorldTour level. Hamilton also rode strongly in the group behind, coming home in ninth place and securing the team’s second top ten finish on the stage. As a result, Hindley sits in third on GC while Hamilton is in eighth, with just tomorrow’s final stage to go.

“It was a really hard but enjoyable day in the saddle, with basically the majority of the day just full-gas racing,” commented Hindley at the finish. “The whole team rode really well as a unit to always keep Storer, Hamilton and I in a good position leading into every climb. After the second last climb of the day I made a move and was later joined by Sivakov and Vingegaard, and we then shared the work until the finish where we sprinted for the win. It wasn’t my best sprint but I’m pretty chuffed to get my first WorldTour podium. I’m also looking forward to the final day of racing tomorrow as I think we still have some good cards to play.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “It was a hard day in Poland. The goal from the start was to be in the bigger groups and later on to race and try to get into a situation that would lead to a good result. We still had Jai, Chris and Michael up in the first group coming into the finale; who were all doing a great race. Attacks were constant but we were always there and after the top of the second last climb Jai attacked with Vingegaard and Sivakov. He did a very strong final; his first time on a WorldTour podium that also saw him move up to third on GC too. Chris also finished well, coming in ninth place on the stage and now sits in eighth place on GC. With two guys in the top ten before tomorrow’s last stage, everything is still possible!”

Reef continued: “Max [Kanter] abandoned the race today as a precaution after his injury earlier in the year at the Tour Down Under. The plan was always to take it day-by-day and Max has came through the first five days of racing in Poland well and without any issues. He will go home to rest and recover, focusing on his next races. Asbjørn also stopped today after suffering from back pain due to a crash earlier in the stage. We had a good day today and we’ll continue to look for opportunities with the riders still in the race tomorrow.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VINGEGAARD Jonas Team Jumbo-Visma 4:07:13 50
2 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS ,, 20
3 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb ,, 8
9 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb 0:10 -
26 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 2:55 -
104 WALSCHEID Max Team Sunweb 20:58 -
121 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 25:53 -
DNF KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb - -
DNF KANTER Max Team Sunweb ,, -