Development Team Sunweb’s Max Kanter and Niklas Märkl finish the opening stage of Olympia’s Tour in 3rd and 4th place, after two men from the break stayed away to take the win.
A fast pace saw the field split early on, with Development Team Sunweb having four riders in the leading 31 man group. A smaller eight man group went forward with Niklas Märkl representing the team up the road. Two riders from the break managed to stay clear of the chasing peloton, who caught the remaining six riders from the break in the closing metres. Sprinting for third place Max Kanter won the bunch sprint behind the break, with Niklas rolling home in 4th.
Max said: “Today was a pretty tough stage with a lot of crosswind action.
We had Joris, Leon, Niklas and me still there in the final 30 kilometres. Niklas jumped into an eight man break and Joris and Leon tried to protect me for the final. Two guys out of the break managed to open up a gap to make it to the finish and the rest of the six riders were sprinting for 3rd place. I overtook them from the reduced bunch in the last 50 metres and finished 3rd. Niklas was the fastest from the six in the break and finished 4th. It was a solid start that gives us hope for the upcoming days.”
Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers said: “The race was on straight away and the guys did a really good job to be in the first group with four riders. A smaller group went forward with Niklas in there, with Max, Joris and Leon behind. In the end two guys from the break went to the line and Max sprinted to 3rd and Niklas 4th. This is a good start for us at Olympia’s Tour and the differences aren’t too big on the GC, so everything is still all to play for in the coming week.”