Development Team Sunweb put in a huge ride to protect Marc Hirschi on the concluding stage of Tour de l’Ain today, with the 19 year old going on to take 8th on the stage, finish 4th overall and secure the young riders jersey.
With the task of defending the young riders jersey and Marc Hirschi’s place in the general classification, Development Team Sunweb rose to the challenge for the closing stage of Tour de l’Ain today. An early breakaway went clear and the team remained tucked in the bunch with the final 10 kilometre climb to the line in mind.
The final two riders were swept up as the gradients began to intensify, and good positioning meant that Marc was in the reduced peloton that hit the foot of the climb. As attacks went forward with five kilometres to go the peloton reacted and began to chase. Marc remained tucked inside the bunch until further accelerations saw him just distanced with three kilometres to go. Despite the distance he continued to ride his own climb, limiting his losses. He finished the day in 8th place with an eventual 4th in the GC at 56 seconds and he also secures the young riders jersey.
After the win Marc said: “Tour de l’Ain has been a really good race for us. It’s such a hard race and the guys protected me well and put me in a good position to be able to follow the GC guys on the important moments each day. I was with the GC guys today until 2.5 kilometres to go where I had to let the group go. From there I just paced my way up the climb and managed not to lose too much time from the first riders. I’m really happy with the white jersey and the 4th place in the GC against a field like this. Overall it’s been a really good race and we can be happy with the result.”
Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan added: “After a strong first two days of racing from the team, today was about keeping things in tact, protecting Marc’s position in the GC and defending his young rider jersey. He put all he had into getting the best position possible and the team did a good in supporting him. It’s a really strong performance from a 19 year old rider in a hard race like this, especially with the young team supporting him. This is a great race for them to develop and experience racing at this level against WorldTour teams and the team have shown some really good things here.”