Race report

Hectic opening sprint in Slovakia

Tour de Slovaquie

The Tour of Slovakia got underway this morning with a short 106 kilometre long stage that started and finished in the town of Žilina. From the flag drop a strong pace was set, with a lot of attacks in the peloton before the elastic snapped and a group of five riders managed to get clear, with all of the Team Sunweb riders in the bunch.

The race settled into a rhythm over the stage’s climbs, with the bunch slowly reeling in those ahead. Unfortunately, a crash in the bunch saw both Ilan Van Wilder and Michael Storer involved, but both were able to get back on their bike okay and complete the stage.

Heading into the finale the pace was high, and with the breakaway caught the peloton charged towards the sprint finish. Nico Denz was the first rider home for the team, ending the stage in a a credible 12th place. The riders will take some time to recover now before starting stage 1b’s time trail later this afternoon.

“It was a short stage, with an expected bunch sprint,” explained Denz at the finish. “We don’t have a sprinter here so we let the other teams chase. We sat behind in the bunch all together, saving energy. Jasha and myself tried to give it a go for the sprint but it was really hectic and nervous. The slight headwind made it even more like a washing machine affect, so we came in the first part of the bunch without a big result. The legs are good for the whole team, we rode well together today and saved energy, and we’ll go out and attack the TT laster this afternoon.”

Team Sunweb coach Arjan Ribbers added: “It was a short morning stage with four climbs, that didn’t see a selection in the peloton. As a result this caused a hectic final. Unfortunately, we lost Ilan and Michael in the peloton due to crashes. Both riders are okay and will start the ITT this afternoon. We’re motivated, and are hoping for better luck this afternoon and in the coming stages.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 LAAS Martin BORA - hansgrohe 2:30:38 14
2 ARCHBOLD Shane Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 5
3 DE BIE Sean Bingoal - Wallonie Bruxelles ,, 3
12 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb 0:02 -
18 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb ,, -
33 HAGA Chad Team Sunweb ,, -
42 POWER Robert Team Sunweb ,, -
69 ARENSMAN Thymen Team Sunweb ,, -
114 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 3:56 -
122 VAN WILDER Ilan Team Sunweb 12:03 -