The Polish rider was one of four riders that jumped off the front of the peloton early to open up an advantage that, with the sprinters’ team keen to keep control, settled at around the three-minute mark after 50 kilometers of the day’s completely flat 162.7-kilometer course.
The threat of crosswinds, combined with heavy rain and an increase in pace, saw the main bunch split with less than 60 kilometers remaining and while the group came back together quickly, CCC Team was able to show that the team is here to fight for the overall title, keeping a strong position up at the front of the field behind Wiśniowski.
Despite the chase intensifying behind them, the breakaway continued to push forward with Wiśniowski eventually going on to launch an impressive attack to go that saw him go solo through the Golden Kilometer, a move that saw him pick up eight bonus seconds.
Wiśniowski’s effort put a lot of pressure on the teams chasing at the front of the peloton but in the end, the race came back together for the previously predicted bunch sprint which was by Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) with Jakub Mareczko, CCC Team’s first rider across the line after a hectic finish on wet and slippery roads.
After crossing the line in the peloton, Wiśniowski now finds himself second on the General Classification, two seconds behind Bennett, heading into tomorrow’s second stage, which is on paper another one for the fast men in the bunch.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“We planned on having someone in the breakaway actually we planned that I would look to go in the moves today and luckily, there were not too many attacks before our group went clear. We worked really well together all day, the cooperation was good, and I think that was what really helped us stay away for as long as we did.”
“The race itself wasn’t super hard, it was completely flat with some cobbled sectors but, the weather really made a difference. It was nice to be at the front though and I think it was definitely less stressful being up there. I was actually feeling good today and so, I tried to do something in the final and through the Golden Kilometer, I was able to take some bonus seconds. This race is always won by a margin of just seconds so I think it was good to do that for the team as those seconds could turn out to be important for the overall race.”
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was quite a hard stage and also quite nervous, especially with the wind and the rain if you don’t want to lose time for the General Classification. I think having Wiśniowski in the breakaway was good for us and he did a nice job taking the bonus seconds. Behind him, we tried to do something with Mareczko but, on a finish like this, it is difficult and I think overall, the most important thing was for everyone to stay safe thinking about the stages still to come.”
“It was really important to be at the front of the peloton on the cobbles and we were in a good position, not right at the front but I knew that if something happened, I would be in the first group and that was really key as if a smaller group had gone to the finish, it would have been a completely different situation.”
Binck Bank Tour
Stage one: Beveren > Hulst (167.2km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Edward Theuns (Trek – Segafredo) 3. Mike Teunissen (Team Jumbo – Visma)
CCC Team Top 3: 23. Jakub Mareczko 32. Greg Van Avermaet 47. Łukasz Wiśniowski