Bora Sprinter wins ahead of Gaviria and Kristoff
Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe) achieved his first victory of the season at 60. Eschborn-Frankfurt. | Photo: Cor Vos
05/01/2022 | (rsn) – Great relief for Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe). After a disappointing spring so far, the Irishman celebrated his first victory of the season on Sunday at the 60th edition of Eschborn-Frankfurt (1st UWT). After 183 kilometers, Bennett sprinted a large field in front of Colombian Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and the Norwegian record winner Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert).
p “The team was fantastic today. In the end, the guys did a perfect job of putting me in position. Danny (van Poppel) finally timed the leadout perfectly. He got me to the last 200 meters at high speed, and then I had good legs, ”Bennett beamed in the winning interview.
He dedicated his first win in almost a year to his team, which he returned to last winter after two years in Quick-Step. “I would like to thank all the staff who have brought me back to top form over the last few months and who have always believed in me. I have spent the last ten days working on the absolute tweaking of my form. already given paw, “he said Bennett, referring to his knee injury from last year, which had slowed him down for a long time.
Best German was Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), who was happy with fourth place. In his fifth start, it was the first time he finished in Frankfurt. “Eventually I was not strong enough anymore. I had to lose a lot of energy on the last lap,” Bauhaus explained to ARD at goal.
On the other hand, John Degenkolb (DSM), number two in the previous year, missed out, as did defending champion Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) top ten. While the Belgian was eleventh, the local hero only reached a 22nd place. “It was easy to drive for a relatively long time, which is relatively atypical. The course of the race did not play perfectly into my hands. We came to the final lap with 100 men. It has never been the case in the last ten years. It made it difficult “I was too far behind on the last kilometer and then had no chance to advance,” said Degenkolb after the race to ARD.
This is how the race went:
In mild spring weather, today’s group formed right after the start in Eschborn, which was launched by Johan Meens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB). Together with the Belgian, his compatriot Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), the Dutchman Daan Hoole (Trek – Segafredo), the Spaniard Juan Antonio Lopez-Cozar (Burgos – BH) and the Frenchman Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels) from the 130th main field out on the offensive.
At the first goal after 15 kilometers, the lead of the five breakaways to the pursuers was led by Bora – hansgrohe almost two minutes. After just over 30 kilometers, the distance at the foot of Feldberg, the first and longest of the day’s eight climbs, had grown to more than five minutes. As other sprint teams like Bahrain Victorious, Alpecin – Fenix and DSM joined the pursuit work at an initially controlled pace, the distance to the top dropped to three minutes.
Before the second of four crossings by Mammolshainer Berg, Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert was at the forefront of the field for the first time. The distance between the leading quartet and the pursuers dropped to just 1:30 minutes at the break of the race. An attack by Intermarché, as a result of which a group of about 15 formed around Jonasutsch (EF Education – EasyPost).
The breakaways have already been caught at Billtalhöhe
Due to the speed increases that followed in the field, all the breakaways, except Rolland and Meens, were caught again with 85 kilometers to go. The duo were also catching up, but then built up a small lead of about 15 seconds before Meens fell back into the field on the 8.6 percent steep Ruppertshainer Berg. The 35-year-old Rolland, on the other hand, did not give up and put almost 30 seconds between himself and his pursuers on the subsequent descent.
After a counterattack city slide, Reynders, Edward Theuns (Trek – Segafredo) and Ceriel Desal (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) overtook Rolland again with 67 kilometers left. By joining forces, the group gained a 40-second lead as they crossed the Mammolshainer for the third time. At Mammolshainer, Desal and Reynders dropped back from Group H, but the remaining trio, with the exception of the tireless Reynders, were also soon after engulfed by the attentive field.
On the fourth and final crossing of Mammolshainer, which is up to 23 percent steep, the last of the escapees had disappeared again 41 kilometers before the finish line in the falling field, where Alpecin – Fenix set the pace and thwarted further attacks.
A surprisingly large field tackled the last 40 kilometers, on which no motorist was able to break away at high speed. The sprint teams also controlled what happened on the winding inner city track. Alpecin, Intermarché and Bora switched to the top. Swiss champion Silvan Dillier led the field in Philipsen’s service to the last of the two 6.5-kilometer finish loops on which the sprint teams tried to place their captains.
Shortly afterwards, Israel – Premier Tech appeared in the front row for the first time and fought a duel with Bahrain Victorious, while the helpers from last year’s winner lost positions. With four kilometers to go, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert) increased the pace before Bora – hansgrohe took the lead in the last two kilometers and shortly after Bahrain Victorious by three riders.
On the final kilometer, Bora – hansgrohe brought out his captain Bennett, who was exemplary launched by Danny van Poppel and completed the Dutchman’s preparatory work to celebrate his first victory in almost a year.