Development Team Sunweb put in a solid ride to position Nils Eekhoff for the sprint finish at the second stage of Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux today, with Nils eventually rolling home in 7th place.
40 kilometres into the second stage of the race, a group of four riders jumped clear of the bunch opening up a five minute gap. Development Team Sunweb rode together in the bunch, closing the gaps when echelons formed during the stage. With 40 kilometres to go the race came back together, with Development Team Sunweb putting in a huge effort at the front to keep things together to line Nils Eekhoff up for the sprint. A late attack of six riders opened up a ten second gap, but the team once again worked to close it with their sprint ambitions in mind. After a three kilometre lead, the six at the front were brought back to the bunch and the race came back together for the sprint. Nils Eekhoff crossed the line in 7th place after the bunch kick to the line.
“Today was a hard day on the bike,” said Nils after the finish. “We missed the echelon and had to chase full gas but luckily we could make it back to the first group. On the local lap a group went and we organised ourselves well to close the gap as quickly as possible. We managed to get to the final with almost all the guys and everyone gave their all for the lead out. In the end I was just 4 spots too far in the last corner and a split happened in front of me which I was not able to close anymore.”
Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert added: “The guys performed really well today. On the local lap we were not sharp enough and a group went clear, so we have some improvement points to take forward into the final stages tomorrow. In general we learnt a lot today and now we need to focus on a difficult day tomorrow with a time trial in the morning and a really hilly final stage.”