Race report

Tim Naberman secures intermediate sprints jersey, Leon Heinschke active in the finale

Boucles de Mayenne

It was a fast start to the action today at Boucles de la Mayenne with a fierce fight to get into the breakaway. Numerous small groups got clear, including one with Tim Naberman, before they were brought back by a chasing peloton. However, the elastic would eventually snap and a group of four would get clear with Naberman once again on the attack: his third day in a row in the breakaway.

The race would take a more formulaic approach, with Naberman taking enough intermediate sprint points to secure the win in that competition, before the break was caught in the last ten kilometres of racing. Leon Heinschke was active in the finale, making a few probing attacks out of the peloton. However, he wasn’t able to get clear and the stage ended in a tricky uphill sprint with Heinschke being the first rider home for Development Team Sunweb at the finish.

“It was really hard again to make it into the break today,” explained Naberman. “The team supported me really well, helping me to make the move so I could protect the jersey. With their help I made it into the first break of the day but the group was just too strong for the peloton to let us go, so it didn’t last long. After that the attacks started again and I managed to make the second break of the day which stayed away and as a result I could defend the jersey. It has been a really solid weekend of racing for me personally, with being in the breakaway during each of the road stages. To take a jersey in such a high level race is something that I am really proud of and I’m thankful for the team giving me the opportunity to go for it.”

Heinschke added: “The beginning was quite hectic with a lot of attacks but we had Tim in the break again and that was really good for us and the defence of his jersey. We had a small part in the race where it was relaxed in the peloton, but it didn’t take long for the chase to start again and it was really hectic towards the final. The team rode together and worked well all day to help protect me, meaning I could save a lot of energy. Entering the local lap I was a bit too far back so I needed one lap to get in a good position. On the final lap I attacked on the bigger climb but still had too many guys on my wheel to get away. Then, I tried it one more time on the top and followed other attacks but we couldn’t get clear. In the end it was a hard uphill sprint and it was full gas to the line. We can be happy with how we rode as a team this week; working well together every day.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert continued: “It took for over an hour for the breakaway to form, with Tim being in a first group that got brought back before he made it into a second attack that got away. It was a really strong ride from him to get into the move and defend his jersey. The other guys tried to save as much energy as possible for the finale. The finish circuit involved a tough climb where Leon made some good attacks on, but unfortunately he couldn’t get away. We wanted to keep Niklas back for a sprint but he was a little bit sore after an earlier crash so we weren’t able to get a top result. However, we can be happy with our performance today and from all week; the guys have rode well together and we have a lot of positive points to take into the coming races.”