No top result for BORA – hansgrohe on the Mashan Nongla climb as Silvio Herklotz finishes 24th.
Stage 4 of the Tour of Guangxi brought the expected change in the general classification. The parcours between Nanning and Mashan Nongla started flat, but ended with a step, 3-kilometer-long, climb, the perfect launch pad for a decisive move. A 4-men break did ride most of the stage in front of the peloton, while in the bunch Quickstep and BMC drove the speed to catch them just before the bottom of the final climb, when also a crash effected the race at this crucial point. In the end, B. Mollema was the only one who could match T. Wellens on the final kilometer. But it was Wellens who outsprinted his companion for the win. For BORA – hansgrohe it was not the best day, as the boys had to chase hard after the crash with 5k to go, to catch up with the front group again. As some energy was missing then for the final attacks, Silvio Herklotz finish as best BORA – hansgrohe rider in 24th place.
“It was a frantic final when a big crash happened just after the last breakaway rider was caught. We were lucky that nobody from us went to the ground, but our guys where in a group behind then and they had to push a lot to catch up with the front group before hitting the climb. Leo (König) was still positioned well then, but after his long non-racing-period, he was not able to respond to the attacks on the last kilometer. Even his level is quite good again in climbing, he still has some problems with performance peaks. Going into the climb already on the back foot does not help at all. Silvio was our best guy in the end. He showed another solid performance, riding his rhythm to finish in 24th place. Still there are two more chances ahead of us to take a win, and with Matteo and Pascal we’ll try everything.” – André Schulze, Sports Director