Piotr Konwa (TC Chrobry Scott Głogów) powered to the victory in a short prologue in Tarnów, assuming overall lead in the general classification of 2017 Carpathian Couriers Race.
22-year-old clocked 3:55 over the 3100 meters course, beating Dutchman Lars van den Berg (Metec-TKH) by just a second, while Estonia’s Silver Maoma completed the podium.
Tarnów once again hosted the start of the Carpathian Couriers Race and young riders from all over Europe took to the start ramp for a short prologue. 107 espoirs signed the start list and faced a 3.1 km route on a chilly afternoon.
Konwa, who was one of the early starters, took the lead early but didn’t expect to finish the stage with a top placing.
“I still can’t believe, it’s very unexpected. I took off as one of the first. When I saw I’m in the lead, I knew it’s just the beginning but as time flew by… it just worked out” – he explained, still almost in disbelief, ahead of the decoration ceremony.
Polish rider, who finished 8th and 10th in the overall standings in 2015 and 2016 respectively, expressed the desire to defend the lead and fight for the overall result.
“We are here to fight for the general classification. I like climbing, I was here twice before, twice up in the GC. Tomorrow we will be fighting to defend the jersey. We’ll do our best to bring it to Hungary” – he smiled.
Konwa, who started his career as a mountain biker, is now full committed to road racing.
“Carpathian Couriers Race was my first goal of the year, I worked more on my shape for the start. I’m more comfortable on the road, I feel more confident. I know which races I can fight at and which are not suited to me” – he said.
Missing the win by a single second was not a reason to worry for Lars van den Berg. 18-year-old Dutchman scored his first result of the U23 racing and was happy to kick off the racing on such a high note.
“I didn’t expect it because normally I am not so good in the prologues. Today I had really good legs and I could hold my speed all the time. It was a nice course, not many turns, it was a good day” – he summarized.
With some good results in junior one-day races, rider of Metec-TKH, now the leader of young riders classification, is now looking to the more mountainous parts of the route.
“I came here for the climbs, maybe to take the stage. I hope I can hold on to my GC spot and be in good shape during the next days. Controlling the race would be hard because teams are small and the course is hard. We’ll see, I hope to keep the white jersey and I’ll do the best I can.”
The only prologue specialist in this company was Silver Maoma. Estonian rider, in Tarnów with his national team, is no stranger to podium in Tarnów – in 2015 he narrowly missed the win, coming second only to Jan Brockhoff.
“I like prologues, it’s like my specialty. I was second here two years ago. I’m not disappointed because I didn’t have such a good day but usually I aim for the win. It was my goal here, I wanted to win” – he admitted.
Being more of a time-trial specialist, Maoma is not certain of his overall chances. This however, doesn’t mean he isn’t looking forward to the next stages.
“Since I’m here and I’m in good position, maybe, if I have good legs, I can go and fight for the general classification, too. We’ll be looking at it day by day. We have a good team and I think we can go for the stage here.”
Tomorrow’s stage takes the peloton on a 167.5 km journey through undulating roads of Lesser Poland. With first 70 riders still within 20 seconds and four categorized climbs on the menu, the battle should be on from the very first kilometers.