Remco Evenepoel has started four stage races so far in 2020. And has won four stage races so far in 2020.
The 20-year-old Belgian took the overall title at the Tour of Poland thanks to a stunning 50km solo breakaway on the queen stage four, with Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang finishing second on GC, nearly two minutes back, and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) in third.
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider held up a number 75 as he crossed the line on stage four, in tribute to team-mate Fabio Jakobsen who is in a serious condition after a crash on stage one. The Belgian WorldTour team continued their winning ways on the final stage five, with Italian Davide Ballerini winning the sprint finish ahead of Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann.
The Tour of Poland marks Evenepoel’s first WorldTour stage race win. In January he opened his 2020 account with the Vuelta a San Juan before following it up with the Volta ao Algarve and the Vuelta a Burgos following the resumption of the calendar in August.
He will now make his way to Italy for Il Lombardia, his first opportunity to win a Monument, before lining up for Tirreno-Adriatico in September ahead of his debut Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia in October.
On stage five Ineos’ Luke Rowe was involved in the breakaway, alongside James Whelan (EF) who was looking to mop up KoM points, as well as Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Hugo Houle (Astana) and Przemysław (Poland).
Their gap only managed to extend to around the three-minute mark before coming back just close enough for Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma) to jump across with around 65km to go.
Thomas De Gendt was one of the riders tasked with bringing the break back, something that seems diametrically opposed to the very nature of his being.
They were eventually brought back with less than 10km to the finish line, as world Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) took his turn to pace the peloton before the bunch sprint.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-McLaren) launched their sprints before Ballerini snuck between the two Germans to snatch victory.
Tour of Poland 2020, stage five: Zakopane to Kraków (188km)
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 4-31-22
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Sunweb
4. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren
9. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
10. Albert Torres (Esp) Movistar, all at same time
Final general classification
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 21-29-50
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 1-52
3. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 2-28
4. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-32
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 3-09
6. Kamil Małecki (Pol) CCC, at 3-12
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb, at 3-15
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 3-18
9. Mikel Nieve (Esp) Mitchelton-Scott, at same time
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 3-19