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"In spite of everything, Sam managed to get into a very good position on the last curve, and a fourth-place finish is a super result considering how the last part of the race developed," Poitschke says

Photo: TNE/Stiehl

BAYERN-RUNDFAHRT 

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BORA-HANSGROHE

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LEOPOLD KÖNIG

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SAM BENNETT

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29.05.2014 @ 12:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team NetApp-Endura took a lot of responsibility in the first stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt as they hoped to set up Sam Bennett for a sprint win. Crashes took out both lead-out man Michael Schwarzmann and GC rider Leopold König and so Bennett had to settle for fourth.

 

Today's first stage of the Tour of Bavaria ended in the anticipated bunch sprint. After 205 kilometers, from Vilshofen to Freilassing, Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) won out ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R La Mondiale) and Steele Von Hoff (Garmin Sharp). Sam Bennett placed fourth, barely missing out on a podium spot at Team NetApp – Endura's race on home turf. The final part of the race was overshadowed by a crash involving NetApp – Endura riders Michael Schwarzmann and Leo König. Both of them came away from the incident without any injuries, and they will be able to continue the race.

 

"The cold weather and the length of the stage drained a lot of energy today. The sprint was also very hectic. Michael was involved in a crash during the first lap at the end. He wasn't injured, but we had planned for him to be Sam's last lead rider. And then, just before the final kilometer, there was another crash, which held up yet more of our riders. In spite of everything, Sam managed to get into a very good position on the last curve, and a fourth-place finish is a super result considering how the last part of the race developed," says Sport Director Enrico Poitschke, summing up the day's race.

 

After the start in Vilshofen on the Danube River, the course then headed in the direction of Fürstenzell, where, after 21.2 kilometers, the first sprint classification was held. After that, the route continued parallel to the border with Austria, with mountain classifications in Bad Griesbach and St. Leonard. Nearly 190 kilometers into the race, the riders reached the final destination of Freilassing, where they still had two final laps to complete.

 

Although the weather during today's first stage of the 35th Tour of Bavaria wasn't exactly typical for the merry month of May, with temperatures falling beneath 10 degrees and with a heavy rain, the 204.6-kilometer stage represented a prime example of the first leg of a tour. After just 15 kilometers, three young German riders were able to break away from the field. After the trio had built up a maximum lead of 6:10 minutes at kilometer 40, Team NetApp – Endura, along with other sprint teams, began whittling this lead away. The first of the breakaway riders was caught after 179 kilometers. His other two companions were allowed to continue in the lead until just three kilometers before the finish. And then it came down to the obligatory sprint royal once they reached Freilassing, not far from Salzburg, Austria, the city of Mozart.

 

A preliminary decision in terms of the overall win is expected tomorrow because the second stage will end after 164.7 kilometers with a mountain classification on the Winklmoos-Alm near Reit im Winkl.

 

"Leo felt well all day today, and only the final part of the stage put a spoke in his wheel. Just before the finish line a rider ahead of him crashed and Leo didn't have enough time to dodge him. At first glance, it looks like he bruised his knee slightly during the crash. However, it's still too early to give a prognosis for tomorrow. But it's clear that the climb will be the first test of his condition," says Poitschke, looking ahead to the mountain finish at the Tour of Bavaria.

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