With four riders in the front split that went to the line to contest the win, Team Sunweb delivered Max Walscheid into prime position to open out his sprint but a crash in front of him marred chances of a top result.
After yesterday’s queen stage, day five in China came down to a reduced bunch sprint in Guilin. The day’s early four man move was brought back on the final categorised climb and the fast and technical descent caused the peloton to split into two groups. Team Sunweb had strength in numbers with Max Walscheid, Martijn Tusveld, Søren Kragh Andersen and Lennard Kämna all in the front group.
The gap between the two groups quickly went out to 45 seconds and it soon became evident that this move would contest the stage honours. Team Sunweb brought their sprinter Max into position for the finish, but a crash just in front of him caused him to brake, spoiling chances of a top day result. He finished the day in 15th place with another sprint possibility on the cards for tomorrow.
Max said: “I am really disappointed, I was on Trentin’s wheel and a rider swung off in front and then clipped and crashed into my front wheel. I made it over the top of the hill section with the best 70 riders here and still had three riders with me so was in with a good chance for a result. Today shows my shape is still good, but I am disappointed for my teammates and myself that I couldn’t sprint.”