Christoph Pfingsten secured 2nd place in the GC after a long day in the breakaway at Volta ao Algarve.
The first stage of the 43rd Volta ao Algarve was marked by a four-men breakaway group, part of the break was also BORA – hansgrohe rider Christoph Pfingsten. He was the strongest at every intermediate sprint and therefore won all sprints. Due to that fact, he collected important bonus seconds which moved him into second place in the GC.
182,9 kilometers with 1 KOM and 3 intermediate sprints were waiting for the peloton today. From the drop of the flag the day´s breakaway was formed from 5 riders, one of them was BORA – hansgrohe rider Christoph Pfingsten. The group worked very well together and they built an advantage to the peloton of more than 6 minutes.
Christoph Pfingsten won 3 of 3 intermediate sprints and with these bonus seconds he climbed up second in the GC. After one of the breakaway riders was dropped, the front group contained now 4 riders with 50 kilometers to go. But the peloton raised the pace and tried to close the gap. At the 25 kilometers mark the breakaway group was caught and the whole peloton rolled together to Lagos.
On the last kilometers, the teams formed around their leaders to bring them in a good position for the final sprint. BORA – hansgrohe worked for Michael Schwarzmann. On the front of the peloton Lotto-Soudal and Trek-Segafredo took over control. Like excepted, it came to a bunch sprint. But in the hectic final Michael Schwarzmann lost his line and had to give the other sprinters, like André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and the later winner Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floor), the advantage. He crossed the line as best BORA – hansgrohe rider in 15th place.
“We nearly realized all goals, which we set for today. With Christoph Pfingsten we wanted to go for the KOM jersey but switched during the race to the intermediate sprints. He won all three and is therefore 2nd in the overall now. In the final sprint the teamwork was good, unfortunately it wasn’t enough for a top-ten result but we will have another chance the next days. Also our GC riders didn’t lose any time for the GC today and have still all chances for a good result. Tomorrow we will try to bring José Mendes in a good position." – Christian Pömer, Sports director