After going close on the sixth stage of the Tour of Poland, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) made no mistake on the final stage, timing his late attack to perfection to take a solo win.
Holding ninth place on the general classification going into the last stage, the victory saw Yates jump onto the podium in second place overall behind race winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).
A large group of around 18 riders broke free over the opening kilometres to form the breakaway, gaining close to three minutes on the peloton after 40 kilometres of racing. Former Czech champion Roman Kreuziger and Spanish climber Carlos Verona played their tactical cards well for Mitchelton-SCOTT and infiltrated the breakaway, leaving Yates protected and positioned in the bunch, biding his time until his moment came with ten kilometres to go.
The stage covered a short gravel section and the leaders came through holding two minutes over the bunch as ominous clouds started to roll into the final 65 kilometres. Rain started to fall and as the conditions worsened the bunch drew closer, moving to within one minute with 25 kilometres to go and eventually making the catch a few kilometres later.
Yates was up there within the reduced yellow jersey group as tentative attacks started to spring into the closing kilometres, with the last two climbs looking to be pivotal.
The 26-year-old Briton wasn’t going to wait around and attacked on the penultimate climb, pushing on to gain 30 seconds advantage. The group chased hard behind Yates as the rain fell, but the three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner was on song and held onto enough of an advantage to seal the stage win and second overall.
Simon Yates: “I am really happy to pull off the win today. We’ve been working hard every day, and the whole team have tried to get a stage win all week and today our efforts have finally paid off.”
“It was a tough stage and I chose my moment well to get away over the penultimate climb. Once I had the gap I went full gas into the final and didn’t look back. It’s great to see my from is bubbling slowly in the right direction, I feel good and now it’s onwards towards the Vuelta a Espana.”
Tour of Poland stage seven results:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 03:37:17
2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:12
3. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
Final general classification:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) 24:23:54
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:15
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:20