The first test in the mountains got off to a very lively start with one attack being launched after another but, in the opening 40 kilometers of the 160-kilometer stage, nobody was able to open up a bigger gap. Simon Geschke was among the most aggressive riders and initially, he was able to get into the 16-man leading group. On the second categorized climb of the day, he broke clear from that breakaway with three other riders, taking second place at the KOM in the process.
With 90 kilometers to go Geschke punctured and was forced to chase down his fellow escapees. He was able to get back to the front group and at that point, the leaders recorded the biggest advantage of the day, at 3’30”.
The GC teams started closing in on the quartet inside the final 80 kilometers and with 50 kilometers to go the gap fell to under one minute. Geschke was the last man standing as he was brought back after the fourth category one climb to Pitoniówka.
In the end, he showcased very good form as he not only finished the day with 21 points in the King of the Mountains classification but, also managed to stay with the GC favorites in the hard finale and took 15th place, 47 seconds behind the stage winner, Vingegaard.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“It was such a hard stage that riding in a breakaway or not didn’t make that big of a difference. When the guys caught me they were already very tired so, I was still able to follow them until the last climb. I had spent more energy than the others and in the end, I was lacking a little bit of power.”
“The breakaway of four was not really planned. We were sprinting for the mountain points, the bunch behind us eased up the pace, we kept going and this how we broke clear. Unfortunately, the gap was never big enough to think about the stage win so, it was more about surviving and collecting KOM points. In the end, it was not enough for the jersey but, I was happy with the legs today.”
“Obviously, a stage win tomorrow would be very nice but the level here is high and we will see how the race unfolds. We will prepare a plan and I think that the King of the Mountain jersey is a realistic goal for us.”
Tour de Pologne
Stage 6: Zakopane – Kościelisko (160km)
Top 3: 1. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) 3. Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb)
CCC Team Top 3: 15. Simon Geschke 43. Łukasz Owsian 69. Amaro Antunes