Team Sunweb took to the start line of Cyclassics Hamburg today for its 220 kilometre route which contained three categorised climbs and three intermediate sprints before the final showdown in Mönckebergstraße. Racing on home soil and an expected bunch sprint, Team Sunweb line-up with three fast and talented Germans for the race.
After a fast start to the race two riders managed to snap the elastic to form the day’s breakaway. Working well together their lead peaked at eight and a half minutes before they were slowly reeled in by the peloton. With 60 kilometres to go the race came back together as Team Sunweb moved up towards the front of the peloton as another group of three accelerated away from the bunch.
After 30 kilometres leading the race the trio were caught and the pace increased. As the peloton came out of a corner, Nikias Arndt was involved in a crash causing him to briefly stop whilst the race was on at the front and splits were forming.
With various teams missing the split, including Team Sunweb due to the crash, a furious chase was launched from the for things to come back together with six kilometres to go. The fast pace it was a constant fight for position and a huge challenge to bring Nikias forward for the sprint. Team Sunweb’s Roy Curvers set the tempo at the front of the bunch but the hectic pace in the peloton meant that the team lost contact in the final kilometres and were unable to contest the sprint.
After the race Max Walscheid said: “Coming into the final we were in a good position, Nikias was really strong on the climbs and it was obvious that it was worth the effort we were putting in for him through the day. Unfortunately he crashed as the race was on and it was impossible to bring him back with the pace so high and hectic. We tried our best but we were a little bit unlucky today.”
Team Sunweb’s coach Adriaan Helmantel said: “The plan for today was to go for Nikias in the sprint. Things went well throughout the day until a crash involving Nikias meant that our plans had to change. He managed to come back but splits had already formed so we had to change our plan to Phil inside the final. The team had to move up a little late because of the crash so unfortunately the plan didn’t work out.”