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Coming out of the Giro in good condition, Geschke emerges as the fastest from a small group that emerges on the final lap of the GP Gippingen, beating home rider Dillier and Baugnies in the sprint

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano










12.06.2014 @ 18:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Two days after Nikias Arndt’s win in the Criterium du Dauphiné, Simon Geschke continued a great week for Giant-Shimano when he won Switzerland’s biggest one-day race, the GP Gippingen. The German made it into a strong group that escaped on the final lap and finally beat home riders Silvan Dillier (BMC) and Jerome Baugnies (Wanty) in the sprint.


Giant-Shimano has had a fabulous season so far and the successes keep coming for the Dutch team. Today Simon Geschke became the tenth rider on the team to take a victory in 2014 when the Ardennes specialist won the GP Gippingen which is the traditional warm-up race for the Tour de Suisse.


The race was held on a tough 12.1km circuit around Gippingen and the riders would do it 15 times to make up a total distance of 181.5km. The first part was up a pretty tough climb before the road descended to a flat stretch back to the finish. Due to the short, steep climb, the race has traditionally been won by the puncheurs and it is no coincidence that local rider Michael Albasini took to the start as the defending champion and a double winner of the race.


Early on a 3-rider break emerged and they went on to dominate most of the race. Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni), Mirco Saggiorato (Switzerland) and Roger Kluge(IAM) built up a gap that reached more than 5 minutes before the peloton started to get moving.


When the bunch upped the pace, it was under the impetus of the MTN-Qhubeka team that took over the pace-setting and started to control the advantage of the escapees. Jaco Venter, Sergio Pardilla and Jay Thomason combined forces to keep the gap stable at around 6 minutes in an attempt to set up Gerald Ciolek for the win.


They started to get some assistance from Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) and Mitch Docker (Orica-GreenEDGE) who was working for Albasini, the Swiss being keen to defend his title. The increased pace saw the peloton split in several pieces and the advantage of the escapees was now melting away. With 40km to go, it was 2.40 and 5km further up the road, it was down to just 1.20.


Local hero Fabian Cancellara (Trek) decided that he had had enough and left the race while the peloton slowed down a bit. With 20km to go, the escapees had reopened their gap to 2 minutes but with the finale about to start, it was clear that the move was doomed.


Going into the final lap, the break was caught and the final time up the climb, the attacks started to fly. When the dust had settled, a group of strong puncheurs had formed, with Albasini, Silvan Dillier, Ben King (Garmin), Georg Preidler (Giant-Shimano), Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM) and the Wanty trio of Kevin Seeldraeyers, Thomas Degand and Jerome Baugnies making up a very strong move.


A regrouping took place and around 30 riders arrived at the finish to decide the race in a sprint. Known as a fast sprinter, Geschke knew that he had a good chance and with solid assistance from teammate Preidler, he managed to take his first win of the season. He beat Dillier and Baugnies into the minor places on the podium for his second professional victory.


Many of today’s riders will be back in action on Saturday when the Tour de Suisse kicks off with a 9km time trial in Bellinzona. Geschke won’t be there though as he has just come out of the Giro d’Italia and will take a bit of rest before finding out whether he has been selected for the Tour de France.



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