Six riders initially stole the limelight by breaking clear during today’s 221 kilometer long first stage of the German stage race Bayern Rundfahrt. But as expected, the peloton and especially the sprinter teams targeted a bunch sprint. CULT Energy Pro Cycling's Alex Kirsch had a shot for the finish line in the finale.
The escapees managed to hold off the chasing pack in unison but along the way, the breakaway started to fall apart as the terrain started to rise and the pace intensified. Entering the final 20 kilometers of the long stage, the gap was down to the only one minute and the inevitable neutralization of the remaining escapees was due soon after. However, a series of counter-attacks was launched from the bunch where CULT Energy Pro Cycling was on the move.
In the bunch sprint towards the finish line, Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon) took the stage ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin).
Fabian Wegmann explains:
"It was a very long stage but not the hardest terrain so the more selective stages are still to come. The sprinter teams had their way in spite of a late attack from Alex Kirsch who was caught a few kilometers from the finish line. It was a rather dangerous finale with steep descent before the road took a sharp turn to a short uphill finish. I think tomorrow's stage will be harder and might stir up the peloton a bit more than today," says the German rider.
DS Luke Roberts ads:
"We wanted to set things up for Michael Carbel but entering the final local laps, he was feeling empty. He's still young and hasn't done a long stage like this at this level but this experience will make him stronger."
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