• Georg Preidler Groupama-FDJ celebrates winning Stage 6 of the Tour of Poland (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
An excursion to the mountains enlivened the queen stage of the Tour of Poland, with attacks threatening to turn the race on its head.
Cycling Central

10 Aug 2018 - 12:29 PM 

Michal Kwiatkowski went into Stage 6 of the Tour of Poland with the leader's jersey and managed to defend his position, but only after looking in trouble on numerous occasions during the stage. 

The race was relatively under control for the Polish champion and his Team Sky squad as he headed into thefinal category 2 ascent of Czarna Gora. Rohan Dennis (BMC) went to the front of the race to set a blistering pace for team leader and defending Tour of Poland champion Dylan Teuns.

Dennis' prolonged acceleration diminished the peloton right down to just the better climbers before Sky took over the pace at the front of the race. There were a few exploratory bits of aggression off the front, but it was third-placed George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) who really lit up the race, surging away to go the lead on the road.

Bennett drew away on the long, rugged drag up to Bukovina Resort, exposing some weakness with Team Sky as Kwiatkowski refused to chase down the New Zealander's attack.

It was Kwiatkowski's rivals, led by Teuns, who chased Bennett down, leaving the front group down to half a dozen at most as they approached the highly technical finale through Bukowina. An attack by Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) served as a springboard for his teammate Preidler to bomb down a descent, with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) the quickest to react, but still too late to prevent Preidler getting a gap.

The Austrian kept his advantage all the way through to the finish line to claim his first WorldTour win of his career, celebrating the victory with obvious emotion.

Kwiatkowski extended his lead on the general classification marginally, pushing his advantage out to 16 seconds over Teuns after claiming third place and some bonus seconds at the finish.