Nils Eekhoff relinquishes race lead on stage 1 of Istrian Spring Trophy

RIDERS

Nils Eekhoff Felix Gall Marc Hirschi Max Kanter Jarno Mobach Martin Salmon

Going into the stage with the yellow jersey of race leader, Nils Eekhoff and Development Team Sunweb lost the race lead on the tough final uphill finish to the line.

Following yesterday’s short prologue, today’s first road stage saw the peloton tackle a largely flat 161km parcours which featured a tough sting in the tail, with a short, sharp climb to the finish. Having controlled the race over much of the day behind the day’s break of five riders, the team couldn’t match the final acceleration in the final kilometre.

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After the stage, Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers gave his thoughts on the stage: “We directly had a break of six guys today which was reduced to five, and behind the chase was left to us. We didn’t get much support until the feed zone but after that some other teams joined the chase. From our side it was mainly Felix Gall and Martin Salmon chasing, and they did a good job. The other four focused on the final.

“The race came back together before the finish and the final hill didn’t go exactly as planned. Nils was not as fresh as we hoped for in the last 500m and unfortunately couldn’t save his jersey, but Marc Hirschi is still in GC contention. Tomorrow we’ll give it another shot.”