Tomasz Marczynski won the sixth stage of La Vuelta, between Vila-real and Sagunt where the riders faced four third category climbs and one second category climb.
After lots of attempts, thirty-seven riders finally established the day’s breakaway, with among others Lotto Soudal’s Tomasz Marczynski and Maxime Monfort. The front group’s tempo was really high in the first part of the race, and the group was consequently reduced to twenty-eight riders.
With less than hundred kilometres to go, Monfort and Jungels attacked but the duo was reeled in thirty kilometres later. Marczynski and Mas dropped the rest of the breakaway on the Puerto del Garbí, the last climb of the day 36 kilometres from the end, and Marczynski crossed the top first.
They were later joined by Poljanski and their advantage quickly reached thirty-six seconds. The three riders collaborated perfectly to stay up front despite the intense fight between the GC riders in the chasing group. Marczynski put his experience to good use in the last kilometre and he found himself in an ideal position to launch his sprint. The Pole crossed the line in first place and took a fantastic stage win for the team.
Tomasz Marczynski: “I am incredibly happy with this victory! I have won a few national titles in the past, but a stage victory in a Grand Tour is a big achievement. It is extra special for me because I have been living in Spain for a few years now, so I consider this to be a home race.”
“After about forty kilometres of racing I accelerated uphill and I rode alone in front for about five kilometres. Once I saw that a group of about fifteen riders had been formed behind me, I decided to wait. Yesterday we had missed the opportunity and today we really had to have a rider in the break, now we had two with Maxime and me.”
“After Maxime had been reeled in, the group started falling apart. On the last climb the GC riders picked up the pace, but I was motivated to survive. I also had a back-up plan: If we would have been caught, I still would have sprinted at the end. But it’s easier to beat two riders than a larger group, so I was determined not to get caught. When we were left with three the cooperation ran smoothly. In the last kilometre I didn’t pull anymore, I got in position for the sprint. I was really focussed and I believed I could finish it off.”
“I really want to thank Lotto Soudal for giving me the opportunity to let me be part of one of the best teams in the world and to keep confidence in me after last season where health issues kept me from setting good results. I really appreciate this and I am very happy I could give the team such a wonderful victory.”
“I hope this is the beginning of an even more successful Vuelta for me and the team. There are several more opportunities for breakaways and I will definitely try again. I have specifically marked the stage to the Sierra Nevada, close to where I live. When coming to the Vuelta, I felt the condition was good after a three-week altitude training camp and Tour de Pologne where I got some race rhythm. After Poland I trained again on altitude. I was confident that I could win a stage here and now I did. I hope more beautiful moments will come for our team this Vuelta.”