Grosu wins last stage, Mühlberger seals overall victory
Eduard Grosu (Vini-Fantini-Nippo) sprinted to victory on the final stage of Carpathian Couriers Race. 21-year-old took his second consecutive stage win, this time winning a bunch sprint in Tarnów. Austrian Gregor Mühlberger sealed overall victory, calmly crossing the line in the first group and expressing his gratitude towards his teammates.
Stage 6 was the final challenge for participants of 6th edition of Carpathian Couriers Race. With six climbs coming before the traditional final in Tarnów, the outcome of the rivalization was still undecided, especially with top three riders being separated by 40 seconds. For the first time during the race, the weather had mercy upon the riders – it was warm and sunny, although strong gusts of wind heralded possible splits in the first kilometers of the stage.
The break of the day emerged quite soon, as 13 riders decided to drop peloton’s company after 30 kilometers. Almost every team sent its representative and so Carl Soballa (LKT Brandenburg), Maximilian Kuen (GWO), Paolo Bianchini (Delio Gallina), Norbert Krakowiak (TC Chrobry Głogów), Daniel McLay and Hayden McCormick (Lotto-Belisol U23), Joey van Rhee and Twan Brusselman (Jo Piels), Tobiasz Pawlak (Polish National Team), Andris Vosekalns (Latvian National Team), Emiel Wastyn (Wallonian National Team), Mokhailo Polikarpov (Kiev Regional Team) and Antoine Warnier (Color Code Biowanze) broke clear.
They quickly managed to establish a safe gap of a minute and went on to keep it on the climbs. Peloton lead by Tirol riders was not chasing them hard, focusing on keeping the break under control.
Situation remained mostly unchanged throughout the day. Krakowiak proved to be very active, attacking on every ascent, picking points for mountains classification and making sure his teammate Patryk Stosz retains the climbers jersey. He eventually won atop 4 out of 6 climbs, taking 2nd on the other two and ensuring that his leader’s position is safe. His climbing concert was soon over, as the peloton caught the whole group on the steep slopes of final climb – Kokocz.
Obstacles finished 25 kilometers before the finish and, just like last year, a big group got to the suburbs of Tarnów. Late attacks by Jo Piels riders or solo actions launched by Polish riders came to nothing and it was once again a bunch sprint in the finale.
Eduard Grosu could not possibly miss this opportunity. Vini-Fantini’s rider won the dash for the line easily, taking 10 bonus seconds. Willi Willwohl took second, while Amaury Capiot was third across the line.
Gregor Mühlberger secured overall victory, only 4 seconds ahead of Grosu and 38 seconds clear of Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Bauknecht Author). On the podium in Tarnów, Grosu also took points classification jersey, while Patryk Stosz defended best climber’s title. Amaury Capiot brought home sprints classification jersey and Jo Piels riders celebrated victory in team classification.
1. Eduard Grosu (Vini-Fantini-Nippo) 3:34:28
2. Willi Willwohl (LKT Brandenburg)
3. Amaury Capiot (Lotto-Belisol U23)
4. Andrea Meggiorini (Delio Gallina)
5. Sivert Fandrem (Motiv 3)
6. Patryk Stosz (TC Chrobry Głogów)
7. Joey van Rhee (Jo Piels)
8. Nikolai Shumov (Belarussian National Team)
9. Grzegorz Haba (Pogoń Mostostal Puławy)
10. Frantisek Sisr (Czech Republic National Team)
Final general classification:
1. Gregor Muhlberger (Tirol) 16:05:40
2. Eduard Grosu (Vini-Fantini-Nippo) 00:04
3. Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Bauknecht Author) 00:38
4. Koen Bouwman (Jo Piels) 00:40
5. Jochem Hoekstra (Jo Piels) 01:04
6. Antoine Warnier (Color Code Biowanze) 01:10
7. Jean-Albert Carnevali (Wallonian National Team) 01:13
8. Daniel Turek (Czech Republic National Team) 01:27
9. Bartosz Warchoł (TKK Pacific Toruń) 01:31
10. Szymon Rekita (Polish National Team) 01:36