Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) has won the fifth stage of the 2013 Tour of Poland.
The Norwegian champion claimed his second victory of the race today in Zakopane, after winning stage three in Rzeszów on Tuesday.
Hushovd’s second victory was the third of the race for his BMC Racing squad. Team-mate, Taylor Phinney, claimed victory on stage four yesterday.
“We are a really good group here,” Hushovd said. ‘We are enjoying racing together and when the ball first starts rolling, it doesn’t stop and everything goes well. We don’t have any pressure. We just do our jobs and the rest comes along.”
The 2010 world road race champion won today in a sprint, vanquishing his closest challengers in the run for the line: Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) and Daniel Ratto (Cannondale).
For much of the stage, it looked as if a high-quality, seven-strong breakaway might survive to the finish, and BMC had options here, too.
Mathias Frank, who finished fifth overall at the Tour de Suisse in June after leading the race for three stages, was among those who broke clear little more than 50km into the stage.
But just five kilometres from the finish, the group, which also contained a home favourite in Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Michal Golas, was swept up.
In further heartbreak for the host nation, Rafal Majka’s race-long tenure in the leader’s yellow jersey was brought to a close.
The 23-year-old was undone by his national tour’s “attractivity” classification: an award of 30, 20, and 10 seconds to the first, second, and third riders in a daily tally of points scored both in the montains and sprint classifications.
Jon Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was today’s chief beneficiary of the “attractivity” class, moving to the head of the general classification by a single second from Majka. Team Sky’s Sergio Henao was pushed into third place.
Tomorrow’s 192km penultimate stage will be conducted over five laps of a 38.4km circuit punctuated by three climbs, each of which is over 300 metres.
Tour of Poland 2013: stage five – result
1) Thor Hushovd (NOR) – BMC Racing – 3.54.40
2) Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) – FDJ
3) Daniele Ratto (ITA) – Cannondale
4) Luke Mezgec (SLO) – Argos-Shimano
5) David Tanner (AUS) – Belkin
6) Sergio Henao (COL) – team SKy
7) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – Lampre Merida
8) Christophe Riblon (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
9) Reinhardt Van Rensburg (RSA) – Argos-Shimano
10) Georg Prediger (AUT) – Argos-Shimano
1) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi – 25.49.41
2) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +1″
3) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team SKy +5″
4) Christophe Riblon (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +7″
5) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE +8″
6) Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN) – Saxo-Tinkoff +10″
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +14″
8) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar -ST
9) Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) – RadioShack-Leopard +17″
10) Thomas Rohregger (AUT) – RadioShack-Leopard +19″