In a hectic, crash-filled finale Joris Nieuwenhuis managed to stay out of trouble to sprint to 13th place.
Development Team Sunweb headed to the Tour de l’Ain start line once again today for a 145 kilometre route to Saint-Vulbas. After a fast start to the race with various attacks neutralised inside the first kilometres, it was a group of three that managed to snap the elastic to form the days breakaway. Whilst the leaders spent the day up the road, Florian Stork spent the day adding extra king of the mountains points to his tally whilst the rest of the team remained tucked inside the bunch preparing for the finale. Inside the final 15 kilometres a crash involving Martin Salmon, Felix Gall, Nils Eekhoff and Jarno Mobach meant that they had to chase back to the bunch. Joris Nieuwenhuis managed to contest the final for the second day in a row and finished just outside of the top 10, taking 13th place.
After the stage Florian said: “Today we missed the breakaway so we started to look for other options. We tried everything for Joris in the final for a good result. Unfortunately a late crash with four of our riders forced us to do the lead out for Joris with two guys. Felix and I brought him in the best possible position and he managed to take 13th.”
Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert said: “After we missed the break of three we focused on saving energy and going for Joris in the sprint. We had a good plan and at the moment we moved up to the front the team crashed and four guys came down. We needed to change three bikes so our plans for the finish were pretty much over. Felix and Florian brought Joris in a good position and Jarno who managed to come back also did a good job. In the end we can be happy that everyone finished the race relatively unscathed but we are for sure disappointed that we were unable to execute the plan. Tomorrow we start the first of two very tough days in the mountains which will bring more good challenges for the team.”