Race report

Max Walscheid 2nd in sprint competition

Towards Zero Race Melbourne

Taking place on the Formula 1 circuit in Albert Park, this year Towards Zero Race Melbourne presented a new format with a team and sprint classification win up for grabs. Riders contested intermediate sprints collecting points for their teams, with an additional sprint jersey for the individual who had collected the most points overall.

The race took place over fourteen 5.3 kilometre laps, with the action hot from the gun as a stream of constant attacks were launched in the opening laps. Team Sunweb worked to keep the bunch together, to allow both Max Walscheid and Cees Bol to mop up points for the sprint and team classification.

“We have some riders here who are experienced with racing like this, in particular with Max Walscheid, who had a good plan to pick up points,” said Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts.

Max Walscheid detailed: “Our plan was to go for the sprints with me, using Cees as a lead-out. We then used the rest of the team to try to keep the bunch together to give us the chance to sprint every time.”

On the last lap two riders went on the attack once again, with a split forming as a result of the chase. Initially missing the group, Cees took Max in his wheel across to the leading group.

Max said: “Cees was really strong but we were a little bit too late which meant we couldn’t collect the points we needed in the final which cost us a place on the team classification podium and me the win in the sprint competition. We did show some good horsepower today and can be pretty satisfied with the result.”

Luke concluded: “It was going well with both Cees and Max picking up a good number of points in the sprints and we did look in good contention for the podium on the team classification, but unfortunately towards the end the guys faded a little bit. It was good learning for us to set up sprints and the guys did have a good race despite the extreme hot weather.”

Next up in Australia is the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, check out Team Sunweb’s line-up and pre-race reactions here.