The early stages of the race were punctuated by breakaway attempts but none were to prevail until the race reached its halfway point. A group of seven spent some time ahead of the field but they were never far from the pelotons grasp, with their advantage taking a maximum time of 2’30”.
We spent the day in the peloton protecting Phil Bauhaus to deliver him into the final in as fresh as possible condition. On the races penultimate lap, the team lost one of their lead out men with Lennard Hofstede suffering a crash that forced him to abandon the race.* A flurry of final breakaway attempts threatened to ruin the sprinters chances in the races last lap but in the end they had their chance for glory. After a relentless battle to the line, Phil Bauhaus missed the podium by a margin, finishing the day in 4th place.
Injury update Lennard Hofstede: 15/03 20:00
Team physician Anko Boelens said: “Fortunately Lennard doesn’t have any fractures from his crash today. He will pay a visit to OCON Medical Centre tomorrow and then we can determine the full extent of his injury, which looks like it could be a grade 1 A-C luxation.”
Another update will be given once Lennard has been the shoulder surgeon.
Injury update Lennard Hofstede: 17/03 11:00
The grade 1 A-C luxation of Lennard’s shoulder turns out to be too painful to race Volta Ciclista a Catalunya on Monday. A few days off the bike are needed for recovery before training can be resumed without pain. His replacer will be announced in the next days.
After the stage Phil said: “The race was nervous towards the beginning and there were lots of attempts to breakaway. In the end it came down to a sprint and things didn’t go perfectly, we lost each other in the final metres, and we also lost Lennard the lap before because he crashed out. I can still be happy with 4th place and the guys looked after me really well today.”
“The guys worked really well throughout the stage protecting Phil to keep him fresh for the sprint,” said Team Sunweb coach Dirk Reuling. “We lost Lennard due to a crash which was a dent to the teams lead out. The team were able to bring Phil to the wheel os Bouhanni and from there is was up to Phil to finish the job, 4th place is still a strong result.”