After a day spent with Lennard Hofstede in the breakaway, it was Team Sunweb’s Sam Oomen who put in a solid ride in the finale to take a solid 11th place at Il Lombardia today.
Team Sunweb lined up for the final Monument of the season for a tough day in the saddle tackling the gruelling parcours of Il Lombardia. As soon as the flag dropped the attacks came in their tens, with a group six riders eventually snapping the elastic. Lennard Hofstede represented Team Sunweb in the breakaway as the group stretched their lead out to 12 minutes. With 153 kilometres still to race, the peloton had well and truly upped their pace, halving the breakaway riders advantage. When their lead was down to one minute, riders took the opportunity to jump across to the leading group. As the formation of the leading group changed, Lennard held on inside the chasing group. After a strong effort out front he dropped back to the peloton and with 18 kilometres to go, his former companions were caught by the bunch.
As soon as the catch was made counter attacks were launched. One rider accelerated away from the bunch and it was Sam Oomen that was the first to follow. Later joined by four riders, the group enjoyed a brief lead over the chasing pack before more attacks from the bunch reeled them in. As the late attackers battled for podium places, Sam finished the day inside one of the chasing groups taking 11th place. Wilco Kelderman also takes a strong top 20 result, as he finishes 18th.
After the race Sam said: “Today we were great as a team with Lennie in the break and the others guys protecting Warren, Wilco and me for the finish. In the final it was a man-on-man battle and I tried to attack on the second-to-last climb and managed to go clear. On the last climb I was maybe a little too excited and I just missed out on the group that raced for 2nd place. It’s a pity because I still had a good sprint but on the other hand I can be satisfied with how I rode today. I want to thank the team for their support and the opportunities.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “The plan worked out really well today. Lennard went away in the early breakaway and the rest of the team were able to bring Warren, Sam and Wilco into position after 160 kilometres. The bunch split before the Ghisallo but all of our guys were in the front. The pace was really high but Michael positioned the guys in the top 10 as we had planned. On the Surmano Lennard’s group was caught and we had Warren, Wilco and Sam in the first group. Warren and Wilco lost contact on the Civiglio and we decided that Sam could take the opportunity to try to get ahead of the big guns which worked out pretty well. On the last climb he went a little too early and missed the group that went for 2nd place, but this is still a really strong ride from such a young rider. Overall we had a great race with solid team work, everybody did their jobs really well.”