Team Sunweb’s Max Walscheid sprints to a promising 4th place at the Tour of Guangxi’s opening stage.
Team Sunweb lined up in China today for the first stage of the WorldTour calendar’s closing race at the Tour of Guangxi. A day for the sprinters, the first stage featured a 107 kilometre circuit around Beihai.
The day was animated by a four rider breakaway who were able to stretch their advantage out to one minute. Team Sunweb remained tucked in the comforts of the bunch whilst the leading quartet enjoyed a day ahead of the field. After the last intermediate sprint two riders pushed on from the breakaway, with just one rider eventually managing to stay clear of the field. The catch was finally made with 4 kilometres to go and the peloton geared up for a bunch sprint. After a lead-out from his team mates, Team Sunweb’s Max Walscheid opened out his sprint taking 4th place at the line.
Speaking after the race Max said: “We did a good team effort today, everyone was really dedicated. It was an honour for me to be led out by the green jersey. I made a small mistake with 2 kilometres to go where I couldn’t follow the team because I thought it was impossible to do it at that speed. In the end I lost them and had to move up pretty hard through the wind so I didn’t have much left in the last 50 metres. It was a good opening to the race and I can be pleased with a top five result. We have lots of points to improve and if we put everything together I think anything is possible.”
Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen said: “Today was a short and fast stage to open the race here in China. Our goal for the day was to sprint with Max. After 10 kilometres a four man break took a lead which peaked at one minute whilst the guys stayed safe in the bunch. The race came back together inside the last 10 kilometres and the guys prepared for the lead-out. On the last corner Max had to brake and lost contact with the guys, it took a lot for him to come back to Michael’s wheel but he did a great job to take 4th. With some points for improvement we look forward to implementing these into tomorrow’s expected sprint.”