The second stage of the CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie was the queen stage of this year’s race. While the stage itself was only 131km in distance, it featured six mountain climbs including a leg sapping climb to the finish at Srebrna Gorna.
Action packed from the gun, the peloton were on their toes for the first climb coming just 8km into the race. The intensity proved too much for some, as over 50 riders were dropped on the first ascent and the attacks at the front of the peloton put pressure on riders at the back.
Over the top of the climb breakaway hero Kamil Gradek went clear in a group of six. The peloton however weren’t keen to let this group go and constantly held the gap between 30-90 seconds.Once the peloton had descended from the 3rd climb of the day the gap to the break was slowly creeping up. An attack in the peloton forced Sam Williams to chase which caused the peloton to react meaning the time to the break was quickly reduced and the peloton regrouped after 71km of racing.
Over the course of the next 50km there was a constant whittling down process in the peloton, however the team had positioned themselves well and were able to roll with any breakaway attempts. After 112km there was a small attack at the head of the peloton which Karol Domagalski followed before counter attacking to go away solo, a brave attempt but once again he was quickly brought back by an anxious peloton
Inside the last 20km and with riders staring to tire, a leading group of 16 went clear including Polish team mates Domagalski and Gradek, however there was no real cohesion within the group and Yorkshire resident Pete Williams saw an opportunity to take Kiwi James Oram to the front of the race. Bursting clear of the peloton Williams took Oram all the way to the front before the lead group split once more.
This time 13 riders broke free with Oram and Gradek both making the selection. Heading into the last climb they held an advantage of 50 seconds but with a steep final 3km including 1km of cobbles the race split once again. James Oram rode well up the climb to place 8th for the team on a tough day in the saddle.
Tomorrow’s third and final stage is a mainly flat encounter, consisting of 130km between Glogow and Polkowice and featuring 6 intermediate sprints and two 2nd cat KOMs.