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"The group had 55 seconds and so the stage was just 500 meters too long. Just five more seconds and the attackers would have decided the podium."

Photo: Feltet.dk

BJÖRN THURAU

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BORA-HANSGROHE

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TOUR DE L'AIN

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12.08.2015 @ 22:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After yesterday’s prologue, the first stage of the Tour de l'Ain was on the program today. The riders had to complete 162 kilometers and a flat profile from Plaine Tonique to Saint-Vulbas. As expected, the stage was decided in a bunch sprint. Favorite of the day Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won clearly ahead of Anthony Maldonado (Auber 93) and Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale).

 

BORA – ARGON 18 didn’t line up a pure sprinter but was actively involved in the stage. Shortly after the start, the first attacks were launched and after 15 kilometers six riders with Björn Thurau went clear from the field. Despite all efforts in the lead group, the sprinters' teams in the peloton always controlled the breakaway, leaving the gap just below four minutes.

 

The last members of the group, including Thurau, rode 145 kilometers in front of the race, before being caught only in the last 500 meters. Patrick Konrad proved his qualities as an allrounder by sprinting to 6th place. Lukas Pöstlberger defended his 10th place in the GC.

 

Sports Christian Pömer comments the day: "We promised to make the day difficult for the sprinters and so we did. It would have been great if Björn had succeeded with his attack. But this confirms the golden rule of cycling that you need a lead of one minute for ten kilometers. The group had 55 seconds and so the stage was just 500 meters too long. Just five more seconds and the attackers would have decided the podium.

 

"While this is quite sad for Björn, Patrick Konrad surprised us with a sixth place in the bunch sprint. That’s really nice. Tomorrow we’ll try to ride aggressively again and to compensate the lack of a sprinter."

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