The Netherlands national team won the first stage of the ORLEN UCI Nations Cup U23 – a team time trial. Teams from Switzerland and Germany completed the podium. Polish cyclists took fifth place. The competition is in Rzeszów, and on Sunday, the second stage will take place – the joint starts race.
The team time trial started on Saturday, the competition in ORLEN Wyścig Nations, a game belonging to the UCI Nations Cup U23 series for themost talented youth. Thirteen teams appeared at the start, including with Polish Team, composed of Filip Maciejuk, Adam Kuś, Bartosz Rudyk, and Damian Bieniek. On the first day, the cyclists fought on a 27-kilometer route leading through the streets of Rzeszów. The Netherlands won with a time of 32.04 ahead of Switzerland and Germany. Estonia was fourth, and Poland was fifth.
On Sunday, the second, decisive stage will be joint the mass start race. The riders will race the 27km round again but will cover it five times. The titular sponsor of the race is PKN ORLEN.
Daan Hoole, The Netherlands: I am happy; it was an almost perfect time trial in our performance. The whole team earned this victory. The route is exciting, not too challenging, but fast. You have to be careful on the hill to lose speed. Tomorrow will not be easy, but we have strong players, and I’m hopeful.
Damian Bieniek, Poland: I think that considering our conditions – and two riders were missing – we drove very well. We didn’t start with such a squad before, so I am satisfied. We could have played the uphill a bit better, but in general, it was quite ok. The Sunday stage can go very differently; the Netherlands looks like a reliable team.
Tomasz Kiendyś, coach of the Polish National Team: “Everyone had a great time trial. Indeed, a few things can be improved, but there is progress in general, and I am satisfied. It will be fast on Sunday because it is quite a short stage, so the fight should be dynamic.”