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"It's greater this year. I got a stage win, and when you are the favorite, it is harder to win because everyone is watching you and so I just showed that I was the strongest in Vejle and perhaps the strongest rider in the field."

Photo: / Henriette Brandt


31.07.2016 @ 22:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Argon 18) took the biggest win of his short career by beating the big-name sprinters on the final stage of the Tour of Denmark. Coming off the Dutchman’s wheel, he beat Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) in a photo finish while Michael Valgren (Tinkoff) finished safely to top an all Danish overall podium that also included Magnus Cort (Denmark) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Virtu Pro).


We have gathered a few reactions.


Michael Valgren: This win is better because I showed that I was the strongest rider

Michael Valgren has recorded his second overall victory at the Tour of Denmark, capping off a superb week of racing for Tinkoff at his home tour. With Daniele Bennati’s third place on the final stage bunch sprint, he won the points classification, as Tinkoff also took the team classification, finishing the race with two stage wins, two podiums, and first, fourth and tenth overall.


“We had some suspense today, but we adjusted our strategy along the road and the guys did another great job,” a very happy Sport Director Lars Michaelsen told us after the finish. “We also win the team classification too which underlines the team effort out here this week, and Benna is also rewarded with the points classification. We didn’t win the stage, but there were plenty of other rewards.”

 The 175km final stage already suited a bunch sprint with its largely flat parcours, and ten finish circuits to end the race, but the team still had to be aware of second place on GC, sat at just 12 seconds going into the stage but with enough bonus seconds available to overturn the lead.


After an early fight for the breakaway, six riders pulled clear, suiting Tinkoff and Valgren with no GC threats up the road. However, under pressure from other teams behind in the peloton, the breakaway was closed down ahead of the first intermediate sprint with 111km to race. After a hard fight, Magnus Cort, sitting in second overall, took three bonus seconds, while Bennati and Valgren took two and one respectively, closing the advantage down to just 10 seconds.


A second breakaway soon went clear and this time the chase was unable to bring back the escape ahead of the second sprint, meaning that Cort had to win the stage with a gap over Valgren, as the Tinkoff rider led by over 10 seconds with his time trial advantage, with Valgren having to finish outside of the top 10 – it was leaning in Valgren’s favour.


As the peloton raced around the 10 finishing circuits a bunch sprint was set up with all riders caught with 7km to race. As rain started to fall, the situation became more complicated but the Tinkoff train remained at the front of the bunch with Valgren and Bennati in the wheels. As the sprint unfolded, Bennati pushed hard for the line, just being pipped into third, with Valgren just a bike length behind in fifth, sealing his overall race victory.

 “In the morning we tried to have the right break go clear, but other teams agendas were different” Michaelsen continued. “We covered 52km in the first hour, a continuously high speed, and in the end the guys out front ran out of energy, and Cort took the first sprint, so we adapted to the situation.


“For the second sprint it worked out that the break stayed away and took the bonifications there so with Valgren’s gap in the TT even if Cort won the bunch sprint Valgren would still win the overall. In the end Valgren took fifth, showing his strength, and Benna took third, to win the points jersey, ending a really good week here for the team.”


"It's greater this year. I got a stage win, and when you are the favorite, it is harder to win because everyone is watching you and so I just showed that I was the strongest in Vejle and perhaps the strongest rider in the field so it's a great way to win,” Valgren told CyclingQuotes.


"It's great for the future to see that I can do a good race after having done a grand tour. 


"I think that Danish cycling has a lot of talents and I hope we can continue to produce them and that there will be more of them in the World Tour so thatwe have more cards to play. We can only hope that we can make results at the international level too - we have already received some criticism in various media.


"It requires that you get the chance. We always have a fixed job for the team. When I ride with [Peter] Sagan or [Alberto] Contador, they can always win a stage - and then they are just better riders than we are.


"Now I get my chance here and end up winning - it's the only chance I have had apart from the Ardennes classics where I was 2nd and 13th. It’ nok like we can’t do it. We just have different roles.”


Valgren now turns his attention to the Eneco Tour and the Canadian classics. 


"But I won’t do the Worlds. It's too late and I can’t win anyway.”


Phil Bauhaus: It’s great to beat a rider like Hofland

Lotto-Jumbo were able to lead into the last kilometre with their sprinter Hofland in a perfect position, but it was Phil Bauhaus who took the win just on the line.


In the final general classification Christoph Pfingsten remained in a strong 5th place for Bora Argon 18.


“It was a perfect day. Rudi (Selig) brought me into a good position, with 1k to go he dropped me off behind the Tinkoff train. In the sprint I caught the wheel of Hofland and could overtake him in the last metres. I am super happy with this win,” Bauhaus said.


"I would call it the biggest win of my career so far. It's great to beat a riders like Hofland, who is an accomplished sprinter, so I'm a happy man,” he later told CyclingQuotes.


"My last rider, Rudi (Selig, ed.), dropped me off 800 meters from the finish, where I was on Valgren’s wheel. Just before the last corner I jumped to the position behind Hofland. When I was on his wheel, I knew that I had the opportunity to deliver a great result.”


"Tge Lotto team did a great lead-out for him but they also did a good lead-out for me. I was really happy to be able to pass him even though it was very close.”


“The race was extremely fast the whole day. At the intermediate sprint the guys tried to help me to get some bonus seconds but I was just 4th there. But still I was able to hold onto my 5th place in the GC. I am really satisfied with this result and with Phil also taking the stage this is a perfect day for us. I think the team has presented itself very well today,” said Christoph Pfingsten.


Magnus Cort: This is much better than expected

"It was better than I had hoped for. It's no secret. I did a better time trial than ever before so I was able to take second place. I had not imagined that before the start,” Magnus Cort told CyclingQuotes.


"It was hard to take the jersey. It was actually an impossible task, and I was caught a little out by the crash just before the finish, so I was in a bad position. I was left to myself because of it, so I could not really sprint for the win.


"I hope to win again soon. It would not be bad if I could get a victory in the Vuelta.”


Moreno Hofland: My train only misses the right timing

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Moreno Hofland finished second in the final stage of the Post Danmark Rundt Nord today. The 175-kilometre stage was won by Phil Bauhaus of team Bora - Argon 18 and the overall classification by Michael Valgren of Team Tinkoff.


The flat stage had a super fast start with plenty of breakaways. Finally, Tom Leezer escaped and formed a strong leading group of seven that included the Dutch riders Lars Boom (Team Astana) and Brian Van Goethem (Team Roompot). The leaders took up to one and a half minutes. With Tom Leezer in the breakaway, the race went according to plan for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.


"We were twice in the escape with Tom. So we could save six riders for the final. Today we played the card for Hofland in a bunch sprint," said Sports Director Jan Boven after the finish. "The race went as we had imagined. With two local circuits to go, we took matters in hand and put the sprint train on the front. Everything went well until the last corner. Moreno started the sprint a bit too early with Bauhaus in his wheel. He edged out Moreno on the line."


The sprint train of LottoNL-Jumbo over took the last two remaining riders in the break of the day, Lars Boom (Team Astana) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani - Valvole), and drove through the last curve before the finish.


"Unfortunately, I did not win! Everything went fine until the last corner, “ said Moreno Hofland. "Dennis [van Winden] went full on from the corner, but Tom Van Asbroeck thought he wasn’t strong enough to keep the speed and went a little too early for him. I had to start my sprint too early. Bauhaus brought up the speed and sprinted off of my rear wheel. I could hold him for a second, but he was still just a little faster. I am satisfied with the sprint train, the only thing we still need to work on is timing. That’s the important last piece of the sprint train, but I think we did a great race today.”


Mads Würtz Schmidt eyes Worlds and WorldTour after podium in Denmark

Mads Würtz Schmidt (Virtu Pro) finished third overall.


"I'm really satisfied. Our PostNord Tour of Denmark could not have been any better: one victory, one 2nd place, one 6th place and the comeback after the Vejle stage. It's crazy. They have did extremely well,” says sports director Ricky Enø.


"We managed to stick together and not to panic in Vejle, where they managed to stay with Mads. They let the other groups go and continued to stay together as a team. They are strong as a team and weak on their own, and Mads could not do it alone at that point. They gave their all for him.


"It also made him extra motivated to perform in the time trial. It couldn’t be any better, it is pure team spirit.”


"That's what I've dreamed of all year, so it's really cool to be up there," Mads Würtz Schmidt tells CyclingQuotes at the finish.


"[It's] both the time trial and the coup I made on the first stage. There was room to lose some time.


"The greatest moment is when I was on the tarmac after the time trial. It was very hard, and I'm glad it's over, but to sit there completely empty and with a good feeling and to have the belief that it could be enough was a special feeling.


"From now on the big goal is the Worlds time trial – and the road race. I'll take a break and maintain freshness as long as possible because the Worlds are late. But we have a good plan for it, and now it is everything for the Worlds.


"I will still continue to develop myself in the time trial, but as I've done this year I also want to develop more in road races. I've won a lot of races this year, and I hope that it will continue. And in the future I will focus on this type of kind where there is a decisive time trial. I could well get some victories in the future.


"I hope I can take a big step up next year and join the World Tour. That's what I've been targeting for the last two years, and I hope it happens next year.”


Stölting aggressive on final day in Denmark

The fifth and final stage of the Tour of Denmark (2.HC) turned out to be an interesting race. Many riders tried to attack on the 183 km, Team Stölting Service Group’s Mads Pedersen and Rasmus Guldhammer being particularly active. In the end, though, the race came down to a mass sprint where Michael Carbel finished seventh.


Five riders got away shortly after the start in Karrebæksminde, including Mads Pedersen. He won the first hill sprint after 30 km, but the group never got a substantial advantage and was caught by the peloton before the first intermediate sprint of the day due to the work of the Danish national team.


After the intermediate sprint, a new front group formed. Rasmus Guldhammer was one of the seven escapees; they, too, never had a bigger gap than 1:30 minutes as Riwal Platform tried to defend the hill jersey without success. On the ten laps of the 6.7 km finishing circuit in Frederiksberg the gap was always below a minute, but with three laps to go Guldhammer & co. were still 40 seconds ahead. Guldhammer put in an attack but couldn’t get away from the group and was eventually caught by the peloton.


When the last remaining attackers had been caught the sprint preparations began. Team Stölting Service Group had several riders close to the front of the peloton, on the final kilometre the Danish champion Alexander Kamp showed his team spirit by leading out Michael Carbel. Carbel finished seventh on Frederiksberg Allé, the stage was won by Phil Bauhaus (BORA – Argon 18).


Michael Valgren (Tinkoff) won the race overall, Alexander Kamp finished seventh in GC.


Tleubayev takes over from Guardini in Denmark

In the final sprint, Astana got a good eighth place for Ruslan Tleubayev.


"Our tactic today was to find the breakaway with Lars Boom or alternatively play for the victory in the sprint with Andrea Guardini and Tleubayev,” said sports director Dmitri Sedoun.


"Lars tried for a long time and at the finish whe as honored with the daily combativity award, while Andrea found himself boxed in during the sprint and Tleubayev arrived just behind the winner Phil Bauhaus.”


The budget for the Tour of Denmark sees Belgian Laurens De Vreese eighth overall at 1:42 and the third place of Team Astana in the team standings.


Mixed results for Roompot in Denmark

Sjoerd van Ginneken and Nick van der Lijke were the most prominent riders of Roompot - Orange Peloton. The duo showed themselves almost daily in the finales of the five-day race. 


In the opening stage to Esbjerg, ​​a passage of a narrow bridge created chaos. Van Ginneken and Van der Lijke were with twenty others in the first group. Despite a regrouping shortly before the finish, this produced a 15th and a 19th place.


Berden de Vries was in the break in stage two. After more than 120 kilometers in front, he saw his teammate Raymond Kreder being involved in a crash in the sprint. After a night under observation in the hospital he had to leave the race with arm and back pain and a slight concussion.


In the stage to Velje Sjoerd van Ginneken once again underlined the growth he is experiencing as a pro in his second season. On the difficult local laps, the young Dutchman was still with the best. Only in the last hundred meters he had to surrender and he finished seventh.


After a time trial on Saturday where De Vries and Brian Van Goethem were 25th and 26th respectively, Van Goethem was again there in the final stage. Until the final 10km, he was part of the break. A crash that involved Van Ginneken destroyed the sprint. Nick van der Lijke was just outside the top ten in 11th but can look back on a good race with an overall 15th place.


Bardiani youngster: I felt that I was stronger than Boom

Bardiani had Alessandro Tonelli in the break with Lars Boom.


"Initially we were seven riders in the break, but with three laps to go Lars Boom and I went away. Unfortunately the peloton caught us when LottoNL worked hard for Hofland,” the Italian tells CyclingQuotes.


"I felt that I was the stronger of the two of us, but I stayed with him. I knew that my chance of staying away would be even smaller if I rode away from Boom, so I worked with him instead.


"It was not a good day for us, since we did not get a rider in the top 10. I did my best to make the break stay away but unfortunately it was not possible.”


Crash takes Novo Nordisk out of contention in Denmark

Throughout all the early breaks, Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams, David Lozano and Charles Planet were active at the front attempting to get in a break. Eventually, a seven-rider break formed, but the peloton kept the race under control and never let them gain a large gap. The escapees were reeled in on the final laps around Frederiksberg as it started to rain.


Heading into the finish, a crash took Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron, Martijn Verschoor and Planet out of contention.


“The final stage of the Tour of Denmark was really fast. Our goal was to get in the breakaway and set up our sprinters for the finish,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “We spent a lot of energy to get in the breakaway and after the first hour, the average speed was 52 k per hour. We burned a few too many matches in the beginning try to get in the breakaway. We did what we could in the finish but a couple of crashes ended our hopes for the sprint.” 


Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, begins racing on Monday at the Tour of Utah in America. The 135-kilometer Stage 1 starts in Zion Canyon Village and finishes in Cedar City.



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