Stanislaw Aniołkowski sprinted to a superb stage win on the first road stage of the International Tour of Hellas.
Taking the riders on a route around Heraklion on the island of Crete, the stage looked set to be an important day in the battle for overall victory.
As it turned out on the day, the stage wasn’t difficult enough to distance the fast men, and resolved in a bunch kick.
The breakaway established itself early in the day, sweeping up points in the KOM and points classifications in the process. With no rider up the road, Aniołkowski and his Human Powered Health teammates were never far from the head of the race as they marshalled the peloton on the day’s climbs.
Once the breakaway was reeled in, the lead-out trains formed up, with Human Powered Health’s train securing the space at the front of the bunch long enough to put Aniołkowski in the best possible position for the sprint.
In an open finish, Aniołkowski launched early and took his rivals by surprise. In what became a long sprint, the Pole held his speed to the line and proved just how powerful a finisher he can be.
For Aniołkowski, this win is the result of a slow ramping up of form that began with a top 20 finish at La Roue Tourangelle in March.
Speaking after the stage, Aniołkowski said:
“I’m delighted to take my first win for Human Powered Health. The sprint was incredibly close and I’m happy that I had the extra inch or two. I have to thank the boys for keeping me safe all day – it was a hard parcours with a lot of climbing and they did an awesome job. Also, I’m grateful to the team and to the boss for giving me the opportunity to race for this organization.“
The performance also moved Aniołkowski up to third in the general classification after a good showing in the prologue yesterday, with three more stages to race.
Images by International Tour of Hellas / Nassos Triantafyllou, Petros Gkotsis