Race report

Nico Denz 2nd with quadruple top 10 finish for the team in Tour of Slovakia TT

Tour de Slovaquie

After today’s earlier opening stage, the peloton were faced with a short time trial this afternoon for the second part of today’s action. Taking place on a predominantly flat course, it was set to be a fast and furious hit-out around the out-and-back course in Žilina.

Setting off in reverse GC order, Michael Storer set a good early benchmark for the team, placing himself in the provisional top five when he crossed the line with a time of eight minutes and 26 seconds.

The times at the top of the leaderboard soon began to tumble with Thymen Arensman and Chad Haga storming around the course. Both riders moved into third place at the time of crossing the line, with Haga pipping Arensman by one tenth of a second, as they both produced an effort of eight minutes and seven seconds.

The great efforts against the clock would continue for the team, with Jasha Sütterlin going three seconds better than Haga and Arensman, ending his run in an impressive eight minutes and four seconds. Last down the ramp for the team was Nico Denz, and the German rider would produce the best time trial of his career, flying around the pan-flat course and stopping the clock in eight minutes and one second.

As the dust settled once all of the riders had finished their efforts, the team ended the stage with an incredibly impressive haul of results with Denz in second, Sütterlin in sixth, Haga in seventh and Arensman in eighth. All riders move up in the GC standings too, giving the team lots of options for the more rolling stages to come.

“I already felt this morning that my shape is really good,” expressed Denz after the finish. “I started the time trial without any pressure and to finish second is totally unexpected. I’m really happy with the performance today. For me it’s important to finally deliver with in this season restart and with the Giro coming up I wanted to perform here and show what I can do. I’m just really happy with my performance today, it’s my best ever time trial result.”

Team Sunweb coach Arjan Ribbers added: “The guys really showed their ambition for Tour of Slovakia today. After the bad luck we had this morning with Michael and Ilan’s crashes, we now can be happy with the results from this opening day of racing. To get four guys in top eight is really great and it gives us more cards to play for the coming days of racing.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 STEIMLE Jannik Deceuninck - Quick Step 7:55 14
2 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb 0:06 5
3 LEKNESSUND Andreas Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:07 3
6 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb 0:09 -
7 HAGA Chad Team Sunweb 0:12 -
8 ARENSMAN Thymen Team Sunweb ,, -
21 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 0:26 -
31 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 0:31 -
110 VAN WILDER Ilan Team Sunweb 1:23 -