Friday, March 28, 2014

Lukasz Wisniowski continues torrid spring, takes Tour de Normandie queen stage

In his 1st season out of the U23 ranks, Lukasz Wisniowski has been riding with a chip on his shoulder about not getting a professional contract and has been riding like a man possessed. The winner of the Kattekoers, Wisniowski has been riding quietly during the Tour de Normandie but on the 4th stage to Villers-Bocage, he came out of his shell and rode in a breakaway with 3 others and won the sprint to take both the stage as well as the yellow jersey with just 2 stages left.

The stage left Domfront to some special Norman weather including cold, wind and rain and immediately, a break containing Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Seche Environment), Guillaume Thevenot (Vendee U) and Paul Oselin (Sojasun Espoirs) went away. The French have been shut out so far in the Tour de Normandie so they were looking to get some glory for Le Hexagon. They got a maximum advantage of 4 minutes but with 4 circuits to be done in and around Villers-Bocage, the gap soon came down. When the group was brought back with over 60 kilometers to go, multiple escape attempts happened but were shut down.

After a big crash involving around 30 riders happened during one of the crossing of the start finish line in Villers-Bocage, Niels Vandyck (AnPost-Chain Reaction) and Johan Coenen (Differdange) took off the front and Rapha-Condor and race leader Tom Moses were put into difficulty. With his team more or less exhausted, Moses was isolated when a group of 4 dropped the hammer with 5 kilometers to go and chaos ensued. Wisniowski, Bert-Jan Lindeman (Rabobank Development), Dylan Teuns (BMC Development) and Erwann Corbel (Bretagne Seche Environment) went off the front and immediately got a big gap. In just 5 kilometers, they were able to extract 22 seconds from the reduced peloton and in the sprint to the line, Wisniowski was able to easily beat out Erwann Corbel and Teuns for the stage win.

Wisniowski was able to leapfrog the GC thanks to time bonuses and take the leader's jersey from Moses. Wisniowski leads breakaway mate Lindeman by 2 seconds while Corbel and Moses lie 10 seconds in arrears. BMC Development's Stefan Kung is in 5th place at 13 seconds and his team was able to hold onto the lead in the team classification.

The race continues tomorrow with an up and down stage to Carentan that will include a ride along Utah Beach in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

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