Hodeg opens Tour de Pologne campaign with second in Krakow
Quick-Step Floors' Colombian sprinter came close to his third victory of the year.
The first and so far only neo-pro to bag a World Tour win this season, Alvaro Hodeg confirmed strong form he has after an altitude camp in Livigno with a second podium finish in the space of just three days, following the one he took on the last stage of the Tour de Wallonie.
Part of the World Tour calendar since 2005, the Tour de Pologne opened with a short and quiet leg around Krakow, which got to host a finish for the 11th consecutive year. Four riders got clear immediately after the start, but several teams – including Quick-Step Floors – joined hands and made sure the gap didn't go north of four minutes, before slowly but steadily bringing the escapees back, one by one, with the last survivor of the move reeled in inside the final ten kilometers.
The Quick-Step Floors train began assembling with three kilometers remaining, as Davide Martinelli, Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv and Fabio Sabatini stormed to the front and brought Hodeg in a good position at the 200 meters-to-go sign, where the 21-year-old launched his sprint. Alvaro's powerful kick was matched by only one rider, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), who took the win for a wheel, despite a strong finish of the Colombian.
"Tour de Pologne is the second World Tour race where I get to sprint for the team and today I had a good opportunity to take another win, but Pascal was just stronger. I am content with my form and very happy to see the fantastic support of my teammates, to whom I want to say thank you for their amazing work. It's never a pleasant feeling when you finish second, but there will be other chances this week and I remain confident", said Alvaro, who on Sunday will wear the points jersey.
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