Stefan Poutsma (Team Jo Piels) claimed the first victory in his career, wining the third stage of Carpathian Couriers Race. Dutch rider beat Jef van Meirhaeghe (Lotto-Belisol) and Timo Roosen (WV De Jonge Renner) on the final hill, situated in an old town of Ciężkowice, Poland.
21-year-old Dutch rider took the leader’s jersey due to the bonus seconds gained during the stage. „I’m very surprised, I’m also very happy” – still a little surprised Poutsma said after the decoration ceremony. „The stage was hard, in the final kilometers I did nothing, just finished the job on the last climb.”
A hilly stage with three mountain sprints started with some early attacks, launched by Wojciech Sykała (Polish National Team) and Oleksandr Golovash (Kiev National Team). Their action came to an end just before the summit of the first mountain sprint Wysoka, won by Patryk Stosz (TC Chrobry Lasocki Głogów).
The difficulties of the course allowed riders from different teams to launch attacks and initiate actions. Mountain sprints passed, several groups tried to counterattack but the peleton forced a strong pace, not letting them get away, knowing that the final kilometer gives one last opportunity to put rivals under the pressure and gain some seconds.
The bunch entered the last 30 kilometers without the race leader in the head of the peleton – Daan Meijers had a mechanical and was forced to change his bike. He managed to get back to the peleton but this effort cost him a lot of energy and it was his teammate who took his place at the front, putting himself into the 6-men breakaway.
The riders at the front were: Stefan Poutsma (Jo Piels), Daniel Turek (Czech Republic National Team), Artur Shaymuratov (Russian National Team), Arkadiusz Owsian (Pogoń Mostostal Puławy), Sebastian Wotschke (KED Stevens Team), Jef van Meirhaeghe (Lotto-Belisol) and Timo Roosen (WV De Jonge Renner). They managed to keep 20-seconds advantage, heading into the final kilometers. Meijers had another mechanical before the last kilometer’s ascent and was unable to defend his lead. Poutsma attacked on the final corner and made it to the line before Van Meirhaeghen and desperately trying to bridge Roosen.