Team Sunweb rounded out the Tour Down Under with a 4th place for Phil Bauhaus on the final stage, a fast circuit race around Adelaide.
The flat 90km stage was based over 20 laps of a mainly flat circuit, with one small rise to be covered each lap – the usual finishing stage to the Tour Down Under. After a fast start, a break of three riders finally established itself out front. Although, despite building a lead of over 1′, the situation was to change again before mid-race with just one rider from the three remaining out front and being joined by one other from the peloton.
Team Sunweb sat safely in the wheels as the lead duo’s advantage grew to over 2’20” before the chase was eventually picked up behind. The catch came on lap 18, with the race coming back together ahead of a much expected sprint. Team Sunweb led over the line with one lap to go and rode well together to keep Phil in position ahead of a hectic finish where he put in a big final effort to take 4th.
Sam Oomen finished the race with a top 15 position overall.
After the stage Phil said: “We tried to ride the finish as we discussed in the meeting before the race but it didn’t quite work out. In the end Mike [Teunissen], Nikias [Arndt] and I were left, they did a good job but unfortunately I couldn’t hold the wheel in the last corner and we lost each other a bit. I could start my sprint but I was a bit blocked and came through in 4th.”
Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “It was quite a hectic finish with a lot of GC riders also needing to compete the sprint, so it was difficult for the team to carry out the plan how we hoped but still Phil was positioned well enough to sprint to 4th place.”