Sunshine, beautiful blue sky, lap of honor around the market in Bardo, applause of the gathered audience - none of these signaled a true earthquake that was about to happen today. As riders entered Sowie Mountains the weather changed radically - quite heavy rainfall and the sounds of the storm added more uncertainty to the outcome of Stage 3.
Indeed bad weather and mechanical problems linked with it has turned the general classifications upside down. Hitherto Solo classification leader Dariusz Poroś (MTB VOTUM ORBEA TEAM WROCŁAW) had some serious technical problems which eventually costed him 15 minutes (although he was down by 20 minutes on the top of Wielka Sowa climb). For Poroś this meant a dethronization and a new "king in the castle" of Solo Men competition - today's winner Robby de Bock (KMC Team). He is now 8 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of the former leader. Second place on Stage 3 for Dane Thomas Rasmussen (Team Merida Astral Biking) and third for Josef Havel of Czech Republic.
Tough conditions did not spare the Team classification leaders TNN Meets WMTB, although the fate was more favorable to them as they held the 1st spot in the GC. The Belgians lost 14 minutes to today's fastest Proghorn Racing team from Denmark. 2nd for Polish squad Colex Racing Team and 3rd for the Austrians from Nutrixxion Flachau (also the fastest Masters)
The only lucky leader today was Aneta Imielska (Mitsubishi Materials MTB Team), who gained another 6'40" over Marta Gogolewska (Merx Team Wągrowiec) and almost 15 minutes over Martine Chartier (PENTHIEVRE VELO TEAM).
Tomorrow the biggest "challenge of the Challenge" - 90km Stage from Głuszyca to Karpacz. There will be a lot of opportunities for leaders to confirm their domination or for the other riders (like the former leaders) to change the course of events in the race.
Stage 3 results: