Race report

Two in the top 10 but the yellow jersey passes over on Istrian Spring Trophy stage 1

Istrian Spring Trophy

Development Team Sunweb went into stage 1 of the Istrian Spring Trophy with the yellow jersey of race leader but riding for the GC hopes of others today with a tough finish on the cards. Crossing the line in the uphill sprint finish, Florian Stork and Felix Gall finished eighth and ninth respectively, but with splits in the peloton Niklas Märkl relinquished his overall race lead.

The stage was dominated for the most part by a five rider escape group which spent much of the day out front, having their advantage maintained by the Development riders. With 20 kilometres to race the gap was still over two minutes and it looked as if they could stay away however the pace increased and the catch was made before the road ramped up to the finish line.

After the stage, Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert said: “I think in general it was a good race from the boys today. We went in with the goal of protecting both GC riders, Florian and Felix, and the team did a good job there. We shared the work on the front with a few other teams, and Leon especially was strong with this role today. On the last climb Marius, Niklas and Jarno supported Felix and Florian in a good way, with both finishing in the top 10 which is a good performance for this kind of finish. So I’m happy with the way we road and how we worked together.”

Tomorrow’s third day of racing sees the race cover 161 kilometres from Vrsar to Oprtalj.