Race report

Strong teamwork from Team Sunweb concludes with a 7th in Colmar

Tour de France

The most difficult stage of the Tour de France so far, stage five headed to the Vosges mountains, with the final 70 kilometres of terrain providing a platform for another thrilling finale in Colmar.

A day that could suit the breakaway, there was no let-up in the peloton in the opening half hour of racing. A string of constant attacks proved unsuccessful, with an incredibly fast pace set at the head of the bunch ensuring no group could snap the elastic. Eventually, after a 24 kilometre battle, the peloton loosened their grip, allowing a four man move clear at the front of the race.

Keen to set up the stage for sprinter Michael Matthews, Team Sunweb kept a close eye on the breakaway’s advantage throughout the day’s 175.5 kilometres. With the combination of Trois Epis and Cinq Chateaux in sight, the entire team came out in force at the front of the peloton, setting a hard tempo on the climbs to shake the pure sprinters and reel the four leaders back in time for a showdown in Colmar.

An extremely thinned bunch regrouped at 20 kilometres to go, with Team Sunweb contining to keep Matthews in prime position towards the front of the bunch. Despite the threat of a late attacker, the day came down to a sprint, with Matthews finishing in 7th place behind green jersey leader Peter Sagan.

Speaking after the stage, Wilco Kelderman said: “We hoped for the win today and we did all we could to make it happen. We took the race into our hands to go for it and I think we can be proud of how we worked during the stage. Unfortunately it didn’t work out in the final, but we still have more chances here and we’ll keep fighting to make it happen.”

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek added: “The team were really strong today. We needed to be in a good position entering the roundabout in the final 500 metres, but Michael lost Nico and had to try to make up places which in the chaos and wind, wasn’t so easy. That cost us a good result and meant we couldn’t sprint for victory. We’ll keep trying and with good teamwork like we saw during the stage, are confident a top result is possible.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 SAGAN Peter BORA - hansgrohe 4:02:33 120
2 VAN AERT Wout Team Jumbo-Visma ,, 50
3 TRENTIN Matteo Mitchelton-Scott ,, 25
7 MATTHEWS Michael Team Sunweb ,, -
73 KELDERMAN Wilco Team Sunweb ,, -
77 ROCHE Nicolas Team Sunweb ,, -
81 KÄMNA Lennard Team Sunweb 2:06 -
112 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team Sunweb 11:04 -
118 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb 13:48 -
148 HAGA Chad Team Sunweb 16:58 -
176 BOL Cees Team Sunweb 18:37 -