Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) showed some fine form to sprint home in 2nd place, just behind Andrea Gaurdini (Astana) during today’s 2nd stage of the Tour of Denmark. Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) would round out the podium on a rain soaked stage. With Ciolek finishing in the 39 man lead group yesterday and 2nd on today’s stage, the German star now moves up to 3rd overall on the General Classification.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung started the stage off on the front foot with Jaco Venter going on the attack early on in the day. Venter along with 3 other riders built up a minutes lead in the first 30km’s but the peloton really wanted to contest the first sprint prime and so the quartet was reeled in just before the sprint.
After the sprint 3 new riders would then try their luck to get away. Kenny De Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen), Rolf Nyborg (Denmark) and Frederique Robert (Wanty Groupe Gobert) would force out a 3 minute lead as the rain continued to fall on the Tinkoff-Saxo led peloton. The escape was neutralised with still 45km to go as the rain finally seemed to give up too. A flurry of attacks ensued and while none were successful, they did help to thin the bunch out somewhat leading up to the sprint.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung have consistently improved their leadout and it almost worked a charm today, it seemed it was only a strong headwind in the finale that could deny the African team the win.
Rider – Gerald Ciolek
Rider – Jay Thomson
The stage was good for us as we were always in the early moves. Jaco finally made a break of 4 but after some 20kms or so a Danish team decided to bring it back and reset the race. Finally a group of 3 riders left the bunch again. The bunch was super nervous for the last 40 odd kilometers because of the small twisty roads and windy conditions. On the circuit we had a good position on the climb each lap. With 3km to go i took Gerald into the final 800m where Ignas and Andy did a great job going through the final corner first. It was a hard headwind sprint and Gerald was super but just got pipped on the line. The win is coming, i can feel it.
Post Danmark Rundt – Tour of Denmark (Denmark) – (6-10 Aug/UCI 2.HC) Team Lineup
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Martin Reimer (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Martin Wesemann (RSA)
Johann van Zyl (RSA)