Top result eludes BORA-hansgrohe in sprint finale of opening Tour de Wallonie stage
On the 185.7 km-long opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie which started in Genappe, the peloton crested several short climbs and took on an ascending finale to the finish in Héron. A 7-man group, which escaped the field relatively early, dominated the race for a long period of time. However, with peloton not allowing the escapees to gain over 1:30 minutes, after 105 km the raace eventually came back together. Although in the latter part of proceedings, several attacks ensued, the peloton thwarted all further attempts to breakaway, in order to bring about a bunch sprint. Although BORA - hansgrohe rode offensively today, ultimately, the squad from Raubling was unable to mix it up in the very end and had to be content with 18th place with Michael Schwarzmann.
01 D. Groenewegen 4:21:36
02 H. Hofstetter +0:00
03 G. Vermeersch +0:00
18 M. Schwarzmann +0:00
From the finish line
"At this year's Tour de Wallonie, there is a world class field of sprinters in attendance, and we don't have a pure sprinter in our line up here. Therefore, we planned to ride offensively, particularly over the last third of the race, and to prepare the sprint for Rudi Selig in case of a bunch sprint. Michael Schwarzmann did this very well, he rode an offensive race and demonstrated strong fighting spirit. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for him to get away in the final, and Rudi didn't have the legs today to take part in the bunch sprint, so was left behind. Tomorrow there will be a criterium on the Zolder circuit and we will try again there. It's a pity that Schwarzi's offensive riding wasn't rewarded today, but there just wasn't more left in the tank." - Christian Pömer, Sports Director