Race: Tour de Pologne – Stage 7
Start/Finish: Bukovina Resort/Bukowina Tatrzańska
Distance: 153 kilometers
Bukowina, Poland — Team Novo Nordisk achieved a major milestone as Charles Planet won the “Lotto Most Active Rider” jersey in the 76th edition of Tour de Pologne, the first jersey in a World Tour race for the team in its seven year history.
The 25-year-old Frenchman seized the lead in the blue jersey competition on the second stage after going in the breakaway for the second consecutive day and successfully defended it until the final stage in the Tatra Mountains, claiming the biggest achievement of his professional career.
Planet, who also wore the pink “King of the Mountains” jersey during five stages, showed his fighting spirit from day one in Krakow and raced aggressively all week, featuring in no less than four breakaways during the seven-stage Polish race.
With five Cat-1 KOM’s and over 3500 meters of climbing in the cards, the final stage served up another savage day in the saddle and Team Novo Nordisk had but one goal at the start line: support Planet in concluding the stage within the time limit and stand on top of the podium as the race’s “Most Active Rider”.
The stage was won by Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) who was part of the early breakaway of 14-riders and launched a fierce attack in the closing 30km to claim a convincing solo victory.
Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) finished in 15th place, enough to take the overall win in Tour de Pologne.
Team Novo Nordisk put in an amazing collective effort and Planet dug deep into his reserves and survived the relentless 153 km-long stage to capture the blue jersey, symbol of the most attacking rider in the race.
Planet dedicated this unprecedented achievement to his team and teammates but also to the Belgian Lotto-Soudal rider Bjorg Lambrecht who died tragically this week after a fatal crash on stage 3 of Tour de Pologne.
In addition to winning the blue jersey the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team made headlines during the race by seizing and wearing the KOM jersey for four days and taking an 8th placing on stage 3 with Andrea Peron. The 30-year-old Italian matched the team’s previous best result in a World Tour race, an equal 8th place in the final stage of this year’s edition of Tour of California.
“I’m so proud to win this Most Active Rider jersey. It’s been an amazing week from day one in Krakow in the breakaway, followed by other three stages in the breakaway.
I hope I really inspire all the people with diabetes here in Poland and all around the world. I made a lot of friends here, the crowds were amazing and I heard my name so many times on the road.
I’m so happy for my team and so proud of my teammates. They helped me a lot. These last two stages were really tough for me after the crash and we managed as a team really well.
This jersey represents exactly who I am. The most active rider is what I always try to be, it’s how I want to race, to go in breakaways, to fight for jerseys and for wins. This is the biggest achievement of my career so far and I’m so happy to finish the Tour de Pologne on this high note. This jersey is also for Bjorg (Lambrecht). He was in my head and in my heart the last few days and this is also for this rider, for his family and for Lotto Soudal”
2019 Tour de Pologne General Classification:
1st: SIVAKOV Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS): 26:20:58
2nd: Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb): 0:02 behind Sivakov
3rd: Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates): 0:12