Florian Stork sprinted to 10th place from the day’s breakaway on the first road stage of the Tour of Alsace, climbing the GC as a result of the break staying clear to the finish after today’s opening prologue.
The move went early in the stage, with 11 riders pulling clear. A hard fight ensured to get the gap but once the elastic snapped, their advantage soon climbed to over 5 minutes. The peloton started to react over the hot parcours, lifting the pace behind but it was too late as the gap was still over 2 minutes with 10km to go.
The break attacked each other in the final few kilometres, but it was a group sprint at the finish which decided the stage. Tomorrow’s third stage is sure to further shake up the GC with a hilly parcours finishing atop the Planche des Belles Filles.
After the stage, Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan said: “The goal today was to go for a sprint with Niklas, but also to be sharp on important breaks. Florian was alert in the hills early on and made the break of the day of 11 riders. He tried for the stage win with a late attack in the last kilometer, but was caught and so finished 10th. The race started with a downhill where Jarno crashed pretty hard, but was able to continue. Hopefully he will recover ahead of tomorrow – the first of two tough climbing stages.”