Following the city centre Criterium which took place the previous evening, Stage One of the CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie got underway in the town of Zlotoryja. The peloton raced North on the flat country roads before almost performing a complete U turn to head South, back through the starting town and then out into the hillier part of the region to finish in the beautiful little town of Jawor. The longest stage of the CCC Tour, riders completed 166km, taking in 4 official KOMs along the way.
An early break of 7 went away 8km into the race, including ONE Pro Cycling’s youngest squad member Tom Baylis. The group worked well together and looked strong however they were quickly brought back around 10km later by a surging peloton.
Key teams were heavily marked and any key breaks quickly shut down by the bunch. Eventually, after 40km of racing, 2 riders went away and built up a lead of one minute. As the peloton relaxed a further 2 riders snuck off the front, quickly joining the leaders to create a lead group of 4. The breakaway built up a maximum lead of 5 minutes and 20 seconds over the course of the next. At this point the peloton were creeping along with no teams looking overly interesting in pursuing the leaders.
ONE Pro Cycling took to the front of the bunch as a unit with Tom Baylis and Sam Williams assigned to ride. During the next 20km the two riders put in a colossal effort, reducing the advantage of the leaders by 3 minutes as the race hit the penultimate KOM.At this point the race started to split, as the breakaway was quickly brought back a few riders tried to escape off the front but no one was allowed to go clear during the last 20km and a bunch sprint looked to be on the cards.
Polish rider Kamil Gradek tried to go clear with just 5km remaining but he was seen as a considerable threat and again he was brought back immediately. As the race surged towards the finish, the team were well placed at the front with Karol Domagalski, Pete Williams and Kamil Gradek all positioning themselves nicely in the bunch.
Approaching the final 300 metres and with the road quickly turning to cobbles, Gradek burst forward looking for victory, but as the bunch swarmed across the line in the narrow finishing funnel Gradek was forced to settle for a credible 5TH place.
Heading into tomorrow’s mountain stage the team all sit well in the General classification. 128.3km in lengh, Stage Two will roll out of Dzierzoniow and finish in Srebrna Gora taking in 6 king of the mountain climbs with the 6th also being the mountain top stage finish. The race gets underway at 1pm British summer time.