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"Now we have some defending to do with two stages ahead of us. It’s not going to be easy to hold on to it but we’ll do everything we can to do so."

Photo: Sirotti

LINUS GERDEMANN

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TOUR DE LUXEMBOURG

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05.06.2015 @ 17:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s local heroes Alex Kirsch and Joel Zangerle both participated in today’s first breakaway in the Tour of Luxembourg. But the 186km demanding second stage of the race took its toll on the front group which fell apart. Linus Gerdemann launched a stinging counter-attack and made it to the finish line where he took the stage and the overall lead.

 

The initial break started falling apart with 80 kilometers to go and entering the final 40 kilometers, only two riders were left in front of the chasing pack. In the meantime, both Kirsch and Zangerle were back in the pack to support the rest of the team preparing for the undulating finale. Already with 35 kilometers remaining, the leader of the race André Greipel had to give up in the hilly terrain and suddenly, the leader’s jersey was up for grabs.

 

On the Côte de Bereldange with 30 kilometers to go, CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s Christan Mager launched an attack and the peloton instantly divided in to two groups. Teammate Linus Gerdemann launched a fierce counter-move and bridged the gap to the front group with 20 kilometers to go. On the final climb of the day, the winner of Tour of Luxembourg 2011 launched another attack and entered the finish line along with Marc de Maar (Roompot). The powerful and experienced CULT Energy German was the strongest in the sprint.

 

It was a tired and happy Linus Gerdemann giving interviews after the stage.

 

“I have to say first of all that the team did an amazing job setting things up for me in the finale and I’m just happy to be able to pay back with the stage win and with the overall lead. Going away in the final kilometers, I wasn’t sure whether or not I could take the jersey so I went for the sprint and the stage win.

 

"It was just such a relief for all of us in the team. We have been so close many times and finally, it was there. Now we have some defending to do with two stages ahead of us. It’s not going to be easy to hold on to it but we’ll do everything we can to do so."

 

DS Luke Roberts was all smiles after the stage:

 

“Everything just fell into place today. We were setting up Linus for the finale and the guys delivered him perfectly. Actually, the finale started a little bit earlier than first expected but Linus was super strong and dropped everyone behind him. He launched another deadly attack on the final climb where only de Maar was able to follow him but on the finish line Linus was the strongest. With the bonus seconds in the pocket, it means that Linus will lead the race and it also means that we have two more days of hard defending but I’m confident the guys are up for the challenge."

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