Antonio Morgado (Portugal) wins the fifth and final stage of the ORLEN Nations Grand Prix, while Gal Glivar (Slovenia) – second at the finish in Arlamow – wins the 5th edition of the stage race included in the UCI U23 Nations Cup circuit. Jordan Labrosse (France) finished third.
“I am overjoyed to have won this last stage. To be honest, I would have liked to have done more as I was aiming for the general classification, but I am still happy with this result. I felt very good, especially on the climbs, which I really enjoyed. I managed to stay with the best and sprinted to the finish. I really like this race, it’s a great course, the people and the scenery are wonderful. It was an absolutely positive experience,” said stage winner Antonio Morgado.
Gal Gliver, the newly crowned overall winner said, “This is a really special win because it is the second overall win I have had in Poland this year. It is definitely a great feeling. Yesterday some of my teammates had to drop out of the race – in fact there were only three of us at the start today – so we had to play all our cards. I joined the Italian team when they were at the front of the group and it was tough, they were strong. In the end I went full throttle and sprinted to the finish to take the overall. I did it, I’m over the moon”.
The 145km fifth stage, which started at 9.50am in Sanok, included two sprints in Ustrzyki Dolne and Makowa, Gmina Fredropol, and proved to be very nervous and competitive from the start.
In the first part of the race, the Polish team set the pace, followed by Denmark and Great Britain. The acceleration imposed by the British team on the first passage through Arlamow helped to reduce the breakaway, made up of Michael Nuytten (Belgium), Nicolas Vinokurov (Kazakhstan), Mateusz Gajdulewicz (Poland), Alekss Krasts (Latvia) and Alessandro Romele (Italy), to 2’20”. There were further attacks to reduce the gap to the peloton, with Fernando Tercero taking the lead.
The last 15km was the scene of new action, with Giulio Pellizzari taking the lead of the peloton and keeping it with an incredible effort until 3km to go. Nikolaj Mengel – the GC leader up to that point – launched a chase, which was unsuccessful and, while Fernando Tercero accelerated again at the head of the bunch, Davide Piganzoli attacked, followed by Gal Giver. Portugal’s Antonio Morgado won the sprint and Giver took the final classification, becoming the first Slovenian to win the ORLEN Nation Grand Prix.
During these five days, many national teams proved to be particularly active and proactive in the action, constantly livening up the competition, as Lang Team General Manager John Lelangue said: “Talent is certainly the word that best describes what we saw during these five days of competition and in this final stage where everything was still open. It was impressive and I am sure we will see most of these guys in the pros in the future“.
Once again, the ORLEN Nations Grand Prix, with its variety of tracks and technical challenges, proved to be an important stage for the young talent dreaming of becoming the great champions of tomorrow.