Race report

Double top five finish in Madrid sprint as Max Kanter claims podium place

Vuelta a España

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

The final stage of the Vuelta a España today also doubled as the final race of the year for the peloton. Rolling out for the processional opening couple of hours, as each team toasted and celebrated their achievements, the action soon started as the peloton hit the finishing circuit in the centre of Madrid.

A group of attackers squirrelled away but the bunch kept them close, not allowing their gap to grow above 30 seconds as the kilometres ticked down. The team did a good job to keep sprinter Max Kanter safe through the sharp hairpin turns, moving up well as a unit as the race approached the final ten kilometres. Biding their time, Michael Storer hit the front with three kilometres remaining before Thymen Arensman, Mark Donovan and Robert Power took over – positioning the German duo of Kanter and Jasha Sütterlin on the coattails of the other sprint trains.

Kanter was in a good position through the sweeping final few bends before the youngster unleashed a strong sprint to accelerate, crossing the line in a great third place at the finish. Behind, Sütterlin who was protecting Kanter’s wheel, continued his effort to claim fifth place – rounding out the team’s Vuelta with a great double top five finish.

“Today was the last stage of the Vuelta,” explained Kanter after taking his second podium finish of the race. “In the beginning everything was easy, every team took some pictures and we tried to relax a bit in the bunch. Towards the local laps it got a bit more nervous. The guys tried to protect me in the best way possible and everyone 100 percent committed to the sprint. I think we finished the Vuelta in a really good way today and we’re looking forward to next year.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef continued: “The goal was to sprint today with Max. Towards the local laps like always it was pretty easy but then the nerves got a bit higher as the speed went up. We wanted to be in a good position as we entered the laps and to stay in position. I think the guys did a really good job to position Jasha and Max into the last corner at just over one kilometre to go. Max and Jasha could keep their positions and in the sprint Max got third and Jasha fifth. It’s really nice way to end this Vuelta with a podium spot. All in all we can be really happy with how we raced over the three weeks with our young group we had here. They all showed themselves in a good way and their level was really high at the race. Everyone managed to get a top five on a stage which is really nice for them as individuals but it also showed as a team that every day we were there and fought for our chances and got good results in the end.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ACKERMANN Pascal BORA - hansgrohe 3:28:13 100
2 BENNETT Sam Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 40
3 KANTER Max Team Sunweb ,, 20
5 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb ,, 4
108 ARENSMAN Thymen Team Sunweb 0:36 -
122 DONOVAN Mark Team Sunweb 0:57 -
132 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 1:24 -
133 POWER Robert Team Sunweb ,, -