Team Sunweb managed to avoid a crash marred finale at the Tour of Slovenia’s opening stage today, with the team taken out of contention for a result but staying upright to cross the line safely.
Five riders clipped ahead of the peloton in the early kilometres of stage one of the Tour of Slovenia today. The group opened up a four minute advantage whilst Team Sunweb remained tucked in the comforts of the peloton preparing for the expected bunch kick to the line. The break were swept up by the peloton in the final 18 kilometres and teams began to line up looking to position their fast men for the final.
On the local laps the team managed to hold onto a good position for sprinter Max Walscheid to contest a result, but a crash heading towards the final kilometre saw the German sprinter held up and unable to sprint in the final. Jai Hindley rolled across the line first for Team Sunweb in the first group of 30 riders.
Max Walscheid said: “The guys did a really good job to bring us into a good position for the final. I felt good but the crash spoiled everything for my sprint. Luckily I did not hit the ground and there is no damage or injury.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “Because the final lap was so technical we decided to invest energy into putting our train at the front of the bunch when entering the local laps as this would save the guys a lot of energy on the corners. The guys did a great job and we had Louis, Chris and Michael pulling and managing to deliver the train in prime position for the two laps. As expected the laps were nervous and a crash in front of Max spoiled our sprint chances. We can be proud of the young guys who did a good job sticking to the plan in a hectic final with so many trains.”