• Sagan takes out Stage 1 of the Tour of Poland ahead of Caleb Ewan (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the win on the first stage of the Tour of Poland, with Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) finishing second in his first race since the Hammer Series at the start of June.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Orica-Scott
30 Jul 2017 - 11:21 AM 

A breakaway of four riders animated the day before finally being reeled back in as the race entered the last four-kilometre finishing circuit in Krakow.

A crash within the final 500 metres ruled the riders at the back out of the sprint, but the front-runners weren't effected by the fall. Sagan made the first move on the fast run into the finish and managed to hold off the challenge from a fast-finishing Ewan to take the win.

“I'm so happy to be back racing with a victory that follows my latest stage win a few weeks ago," said Sagan. "I'd like to thank my teammates for their great work today, it was textbook performance and we scored an important win."

Orica Sport director Dave McPartland was satisfied with Ewan's second-placed finish in what was a close sprint and the first race back for Ewan in almost two months.

“We are happy with the result, of course would be more satisfied if we had taken the win today, that’s what we have come here for, but it is Caleb’s first race back in quite a while,” said McPartland. “We didn’t really make any errors today, I think it was simply down to a split second when Sagan jumped before Caleb.”

“Sagan is obviously very experienced and he knows Caleb is fast, but he out smarted him a little today by jumping a split second earlier from behind.”

With harder, hillier stages to come in the seven-day tour, Orica-Scott were eager to kick things off with a bunch sprint and controlled the race alongside Bora-Hansgrohe to ensure the breakaway didn’t gain too much time and survive all the way to the finish line.

“The team rode throughout the stage to control the breakaway, we had Rob Power and Ruben Plaza up there and then coming into the final laps we used the rest of the guys for Caleb,” McPartland continued. “Luka Mezgec did a great job in the final, he ended up on the front earlier than expect and there were quite a few late attacks.”

“Tomorrow is likely to be another sprint stage and I think it will be a rematch of today, so another good opportunity for Caleb.”

As it happened

The first stage of the 2017 Tour of Poland began with four riders establishing the day’s breakaway within the first 25kilometres of the stage.

Martjin Keizer (Lotto-Jumbo), Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordic), Pawel Bernas (Domin Sport) and Maciej Paterski (CCC) were quickly allowed to gain over a four minute advantage as ORICA-SCOTT and Bora-Hansgrohe patrolled the speed at the head of the bunch.

Throughout the fairly flat stage, the leading quartet hovered ahead for the majority of the race until they finally reduced down to just two riders as they entered the last 20 kilometres of the short 130 kilometre day in the saddle.

As the race passed the finish line with three laps of a four-kilometre circuit left to complete, the sprinters' teams headed to the front and finally reeled in the remaining escapees.

The scene was set for a predicted bunch sprint in Krakow, however not all teams were willing to settle and began attacking within the final four kilometres.

A crash with 500 metres to go saw the bunch split slightly but didn't effect the front-runners, with Sagan jumping first and Ewan folowing him home into second place.