Jonas Vingegaard emerged as a deserving winner from the next generation of talent on stage six of the Tour of Poland.
The Jumbo-Visma rider found himself in a trio of promising young riders who had held off the chase from the general classification favourites over a relentless day of climbing.
Vingegaard, 22, was first to launch in a three-up sprint and carried himself clear of Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) and Jai Hindley (Sunweb), who took second and third on the stage respectively.
It was a classy performance from Vingegaard, who took his first pro win and moves into the race lead.
How it happened
Stage six of the Tour of Poland 2019 was the first occasion likely to shake up the general classification race, with the sprinters dominating the overall top-10 on the first five days.
The 160km parcours from Zakopane to Kościelisko, near the southern border with Slovakia, incorporated seven categorised climbs, all ranked category one.
Climbing started immediately with a 3.3km climb at 7.1 per cent, which was followed by five 29km laps that each included an ascent of a 2.7km and 8.8 per cent rise.
The final lap came with 15km left to the line, leading onto a 4.2km and 6.8 per cent climb before a 3km descent to the finish line.
Attacks early in the stage to establish a breakaway resulted in four riders going clear – Tomasz Marczyński of Lotto-Soudal, Simon Geschke from CCC Team, Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Petr Vakoč (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
The gap extended out to more than two minutes in the opening 80km, but with Team Ineos working on the front the advantage dropped to around 1-50.
Astana and Jumbo-Visma also joined the chase as the gap tumbled to under a minute in the final 50km.
The peloton split to pieces on the penultimate lap, leaving just 30 riders in contention as the breakaway were caught around 40km from home.
With around 25km to race, Mitchelton-Scott’s Tsgabu Grmay attacked the front group, which had shrunk to around 25 riders over the course of relentless climbing, with the likes of Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) and Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) holding firm. British champion Ben Swift launched his own attack and bridged across to the Ethiopian with 20km to race, the pair pulling out a 30-second advantage over the chasers.
Swift proved himself the stronger rider on the penultimate climb, riding away from Grmay with around 17km to the line and leading the race over the crest.
But the chasing group was close behind, narrowing the gap to 20 seconds as Grmay was caught.
The chasers split once again in pursuit of Swift, with his team-mate Sivakov following Jai Hindley (Sunweb) and a Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard who set off in pursuit, with Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s James Knox bridging across.
Swift was caught early on the final climb with 6km left to ride and was quickly dispatched from the front of the race.
Vingegaard, Sivakov and Hindley, all in their early 20s, led the race up the climb as Knox was also dropped, but there was a concerted chase from the large group behind who had all missed out on the decisive moment, with Formolo the most determined in the pursuit.
The young trio led over the climb onto the decisive descent to the line.
Hindley proved himself the superior descender, pulling out a small gap but being caught by Sivakov and Vingegaard to set up the three-up sprint.
Vingegaard launched first powering past his rivals and pulling out a insurmountable gap to take the win, marking his first victory as a pro.
Sivakov sprinted to second with Hindley in third, as Vingegaard moved into the race lead.
Tour of Poland 2019, stage six: Zakopane to Kościelisko (160km)
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, in 4-07-13
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
3. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb, all at same time
4. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First, at 8 seconds
5. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 10s
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
7. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Tao Geoghegan Hard (GBr) Team Ineos
9. Chris Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, all at same time
General classification after stage six
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, in 22-14-07
2. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos, at 4 seconds
3. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb, at 6s
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 17s
5 . Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First, at 18s
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 19s
7. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 20s
8. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb
9. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, all at same time