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Press Releases | 24.04.2019

Fifth for Schachmann and seventh for Konrad as BORA-hansgrohe take the fight to La Flèche Wallonne

Coming in the middle of three hard races, La Flèche Wallonne would be brutally tough from start to its uphill finish. While shorter than many other one-day races, the 195.5km distance is more than enough to exhaust even the fittest rider, while the eleven climbs covering the entire parcours meant that there was nowhere to hide – if you didn’t have the form to win, this would be made clear early on – and nowhere would this be more apparent than on the Mur de Huy, where the race would end, but also be climbed twice earlier in the day. The race started with sunny skies and warm temperatures, and the break made the most of this to leap ahead, but while this group of five built up an advantage approaching six minutes, there was still a lot of the race to go. A counter-attack from the peloton with 60km remaining, with Cesare Benedetti one of three riders to make their move, quickly caught what was left of the break. Some strong riders in this group spurred on the peloton, who upped the pace to try to bring the lead group to a more manageable distance, with Davide Formolo, Patrick Konrad and Maximilian Schachmann taking a commanding position on the front. With it all back together from 29km, it was a dangerous time, the high speeds splitting the bunch and riders anxiously awaiting the inevitable attacks, and this didn’t take long – two successive jumps from the peloton leading to a duo fighting to stay ahead with a slim advantage, but with three BORA-hansgrohe riders in the bunch, this was shut down and it was all back together with 6km and two climbs to go. The final kilometre was all uphill and it was clear no-one wanted to make their move too early, but while all three BORA-hansgrohe riders held on well in the 26% sections of the wall-like climb and tried to make their way up through the reduced bunch, they couldn’t stay with a duo that went clear in the closing metres. Max was the first to cross the line, taking fifth spot in another strong performance, with Patrick close behind in seventh.

 

Results

01       J. Alaphilippe               4:55:14

02       J. Fuglsang                  +0:00

03       D. Ulissi                      +0:06

05       M. Schachmann          +0:08

07       P. Konrad                    +0:08

 

From the Finish Line

"We rode pretty aggressively throughout the day and we were always present in the front, in many different groups. Patrick and I entered the final climb on Mur de Huy in the front but it was very chaotic at the bottom. I was able to find a gap and started my sprint in the final metres." – Maximilian Schachmann

"I tried not to repeat the same mistake I did last year when I started the final climb too hard. I kept my own pace in the first part and then in the final 300 metres I went full speed. I was a little bit better than last year and I am really proud of the team. I think we all did a good job, it was a successful day and we will try again on Sunday." – Patrick Konrad

"I think we did very well today, the squad worked perfectly together. We were always positioned in the important groups and in the finale, the guys brought Max and Patrick in a very good position and they finished 5th and 7th. This is a good result for us and I think we can be happy with the race." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

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