Molenaar Claims Stage and GC Lead In Tour of Poland

The charming market square in Krasnystaw was the starting point for the second stage of the Tour de Pologne Women. Scorching heat increased the difficulty of racing on the hilly roads of picturesque Roztocze. At the start of the stage, the peloton maintained a fast pace, making it difficult for any breakaways to form. The first LOTTO intermediate sprint was won by Dutch rider Scarlet Souren of VolkerWessels, who took a bonus of three seconds.

The rest of the race saw several breakaways, with the MAT ATOM Deweloper Wrocław riders among the most active. However, the peloton remained in control of the situation. Everything changed midway through the stage when the VolkerWessels team attacked on the climb, breaking the peloton, with ORLEN leader Stina Kagevi losing contact.

The most active teams at the front were Volker Wessels, WCC Team, MAT ATOM Deweloper Wroclaw and the Polish national team. With about 25km to go, Karolina Perekitko tried a solo breakaway but was quickly caught. The intermediate sprint to Batorz was won by Czech rider Nikola Bajgerova of MAT ATOM Developer, allowing her to take the lead in the combativity classification and to claim the blue LOTTO jersey.

The last part of the stage was very intense, with VolkerWessels’ Laura Molenaar making a decisive attack and crossing the line 25 seconds ahead of the chasers, while Katarzyna Wilkos of MAT ATOM Deweloper Wrocław was the fastest of the bunch.

I can’t believe it, this is my first UCI victory, so I’m very happy. I could not have achieved this result without my team, so I am very grateful. We had planned to attack on the climb after 70 kilometres and I managed to get away with 23 other riders. In the last few kilometres we sprinted, I gave everything and managed to cross the line in first place, unbelievable,” said a delighted Laura Molenaar after her victory, which also saw her take the lead in the ORLEN general classification.

Katarzyna Wilkos from MAT ATOM Deweloper Wroclaw is third in the overall standings, 25 seconds behind the leader. She said, “Of course I am very happy. I got a stage podium and we are fighting for the general classification. Tomorrow is another day, everything is still open and we will fight for the victory. There is a bit of disappointment, but we have to be happy and think that this is a good starting position for tomorrow. We don’t have to control the race, but we are free to attack.

The stage winner’s teammate Rossella Souren, second in the general classification, climbed onto the podium in third place.

The first two stages of the Tour de Pologne Women proved the value of investing in women’s cycling. The riders gave fans along the roads of the Lublin region plenty to cheer about, and the race leader said she was impressed with the organisation. “The race is very well structured, it looks like a UCI World Tour race. I thank the organisers,” said Laura Molenaar.

I am very happy because I like watching the women in the race. They never backed down: they kept a high pace right from the start. In the last 40 kilometres through the ‘Polish Tuscany’, the hilly course split the peloton. There were about 20 riders at the front, including six Poles, who kept attacking. This is very encouraging for the Polish cycling movement. Katarzyna Wilkos was second, so I think the third stage will be just as exciting,” said Czeslaw Lang, general director of the Tour de Pologne Women.

Sunday’s stage from Arche Nałęczów to Kazimierz Dolny will close the second edition of the Tour de Pologne Women. Laura Molenaar will start in the yellow ORLEN leader’s jersey, while Nikola Bajgerova will wear the blue LOTTO combativity jersey. Volker Wessels leads the team classification after the first two stages.

For more information on the competition, visit: www.tourdepolognewomen.pl

Percorso del 2. Tour de Pologne Women, 28-30.06.2024:

TAPPA 1: 28.06.2024, Lublino – Lublino (cronometro individuale), 4,5 km

TAPPA 2: 29.06.2024, Krasnystaw – Kraśnik, Contea di Kraśnicki, 136 km

TAPPA 3: 30.06.2024, Arche Nałęczów – Kazimierz Dolny, 103 km

Ulteriori informazioni sulla gara sono disponibili su: www.tourdepolognewomen.pl

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