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Slovenian continues amazing season by winning the oldest German one-day race, the Rund um den Finanzplatz, ahead of Moreno Moser who won last year's race

Photo: Sirotti

KATUSHA ALPECIN

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RUND UM DEN FINANZPLATZ ESCHBORN-FRANKFURT

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SIMON SPILAK

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01.05.2013 @ 17:09 Posted by Simon Knudstrup

Simon Spilak (Katusha) continues to impress this season as he won today's big German one-day race, the Rund um den Finanzplatz. He held off defending champion Moreno Moser (Cannondale) and a fast-approaching Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) in a hugely thrilling battle between the peloton and a three-man breakaway.

 

Simon Spilak finished second in the Tour de Romandie last Sunday just one day after his victory in the queen stage and today he once again proved that he is in amazing form as he denied Moreno Moser a repeat win in the traditional German one-day race, the Rund um den Finanzplatz. He outsprinted his Italian breakaway companion and just managed to hold off a fast-approaching peloton whose sprint was won by Andre Greipel.

 

Spilak had managed to close a gap to Moser and Domenico Pozzovico (Ag2r) who had managed to escape just after the fourth and final passage of the race's key climb, the Mammolshainer Berg with a maximum gradient of no less than 26%. As the steep slopes had taken its toll on the peloton, it took some time for the bunch to get organized as more riders rejoined from behind.

 

A 60-rider group was created behind the leading trio who was now 30 seconds ahead and a concerted effort by the escapees even managed to extend the gap by another 10 seconds. Behind Argos-Shimano had their sprinter John Degenkolb in a good position and they started to chase hard.

 

As they approached the finish line and the first of three laps of a 3km finishing circuit in the city of Frankfurt, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team of Gianni Meersman also decided to contribute to the work in the bunch and later the Lotto-Belisol squad also joined in. The Belgian team's sprinter Greipel once again showed off his good condition and had survived the numerous climbs along the way.

 

On the final three laps a thrilling battle between the trio and the peloton took place and for many kilometres it was almost impossible to say which of the groups would come out triumphant. As they started the last lap the gap was less than 20 seconds and Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took a huge turn which brought down the advantage considerably.

 

In the front group Pozzovivo denied to work anymore as they passed the flamme rouge. Instead it was Moser who took a huge turn with Spilak in his wheel and the tiny Italian climber had to drop off. Behind the peloton was fast approaching with the big home team NetApp-Endura now on the front and all the top sprinters Greipel, Degenkolb, Meersman and Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) just behind.

 

Moser opened his sprint from the front but having done all the work inside the final kilometer he had no power to hold off the surge from Spilak. The Slovenian took the win ahead of Moser while Pozzovivo was picked up by the peloton. Degenkolb did a long sprint but just before the line he was passed by Greipel who made sure that a German could step onto the podium in his big home race.

 

The victory is Spilak's third this season after his win in Romandie and the GP Miguel Indurain and is just another success it was has been a fantastic year for the Slovenian.

 

A strong 9-rider break

The 200,9km race in the hills around Frankfurt was held on a beautiful sunny day and had a highly competitive line-up with no less than 9 ProTeams on the start line in one of the few surviving German races. Right after the start a number of German continental teams tried to create a breakaway but for a number of kilometres they were unsuccessful.

 

Finally 9 riders managed to escape and Georg Preidler (Argos-Shimano), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto), Paul Voss (NetApp-Endura), Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM), Michael Mørkøv (Saxo-Tinkoff), Sven Forberger (NSP), Michael Schweizer (NSP), Jan-Niklas Droste (Heizomat) and Tim Gebauer (Stölting) managed to build up a gap of 4 minutes. With both Greipel's Lotto and Degenkolb's Argos-Shimano represented in the escape, it was left to Meersman's Omega Pharma-Quick Step to start the chase.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step and MTN-Qhubeka chase

For many kilometres Bert Grabch, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Martin Velits did a huge job for the Belgian team to stabilize the gap and with 150km remaining they were joined by Meron Russom (MTN -Qhubeka) who wanted to give his sprinter Ciolek a shot at victory. The efforts started to pay off and gradually the gap started to come down.

 

On the second of four passages of the Mammolshainer Berg Droste, Schweizer, Gebauer and Forberger were dropped and while Forberger was caught by the peloton almost immediately, the remaining three continental riders managed to stay clear for a number of kilometres before they were finally swallowed up.

 

Tony Martin on the attack

The next time up the Mammolshainer Berg Preidler and Reichenbach dropped their companions and from behind they were joined by Tony Martin who had attacked from the peloton. Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano knew that the world time trial champion was a danger man so they started to chase valiantly and before the last passage of the climb with 35,4km to go, it was all back together.

 

The pace was fierce the final time up the climb but no one managed to escape the clutches of a group which had by now been reduced to only 30-40 riders. As riders started to look at each other, Pozzovivo and Moser used the opportunity to go on the attack. They were later joined by Spilak to create the race-winning move which gave Spilak another win in what has until now been an amazing season.

 

Results:

1. Simon Spilak

2. Moreno Moser

3. Andre Greipel

4. John Degenkolb

5. Gerald Ciolek

6. Gianni Meersman

7. Domenico Pozzovivo

8. Maurits Lammertink

9. Alexey Tsatevich

10. Ralf Matzka

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