The Swiss sits eighth overall after the longest stage of the race.
Three classified climbs and a 1.5km uphill finish averaging 7.7% were on the menu of Monday’s 237.9km stage, but the winner emerged in the final meters, following a sprint from a reduced group. Having been positioned by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the front of the bunch at the base of the climb, Mauro Schmid put in a strong effort on the Przemysl ascent which saw him conclude in the same time as winner Sergio Higuita (Bora-hansgrohe), a result that helped the Tour of Belgium champion make a huge jump in the rankings.
“It was a super long day, 238 kilometers in the saddle, coming after two other stages of over 200 kilometers. At least we had some good tailwind, so it went a bit faster. I felt really good on those three climbs, then I tried to get into a good position for the finale with the help of the guys. It was pretty much an all-out effort for everyone in the last kilometer. At 300 meters to go, just before the last corner, I think I just waited a bit too long and I was a bit boxed in, and in the end came home in sixth place. The result is good, I’m up there in the GC, happy with my shape and looking forward to the next days”, explained Mauro after the finish.
Eighth overall, just ten seconds behind the yellow jersey, Schmid is the team’s best placed rider in the standings, with Mauri Vansevenant a further ten seconds back. The duo will have another chance to make inroads in the general classification Tuesday afternoon, when the peloton will travel to Sanok, in the south-east part of the country, for a hilly stage that barely features a meter of flat.
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