To cap off the 34th Deutschland Tour, Sonny Colbrelli won the consecutive stage in Erfurt. Since the Italian from the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM had finished within the top10 in the first three stages as well, he added a 2nd place in the overall standings and the green jersey for the winner of the points’ classification to his tally.
At the end of the first stage of the Deutschland Tour, Sonny Colbrelli had to fend for himself after an untimely mechanical of his lead-out rider Marcel Sieberg. He still managed to cross the finish line in 10th place. Things were only to get better for the Italian sprinter of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM throughout the following three days as he scored three consecutive podium results. The second stage was a tough one with a cumulative 3300 vertical meters of climbing, and in the finale only 27 riders were left in contention for the win. Sonny Colbrelli started his sprint in Göttingen early and got passed by Norway’s Alexander Kristoff on the last 50 meters. The third stage’s profile was another steady up and down, enforcing a selection. In the end about 20 riders were competing for the win. Sonny Colbrelli was caught on the wrong foot by a late attack of two riders but still managed to win the sprint of the chasers and score a 3rd place.
Before the conclusive and hardest stage of the Deutschland Tour from Eisenach to Erfurt, Sonny Colbrelli was trailing overall leader Jasper Stuyven by only 13 seconds, and his BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM mate Vincenzo Nibali wore the blue jersey of the best climber. Despite a flurry of attacks everything came back together in the finale, and a late attack of Pavel Sivakov was neutralized by Vincenzo Nibali himself. Sonny Colbrelli focused on Stuyven’s rear wheel, and from there he chose the perfect moment to accelerate on the ascending finishing straight in Erfurt, passing Stuyven and Kristoff to get that elusive stage win - his second personal win of the season and the 15th win for the team this year. Thanks to 10 seconds in bonfications, Colbrelli reduced the gap to Stuyven in the overall standings to three seconds. And while Vincenzo Nibali lost the best climber’s jersey on the last day, Colbrelli managed to grab the green jersey for the points’ standings with his stage win.
At the Vuelta a España Dylan Teuns could not defend his leader’s jersey: With 45 kilometers to go in the tough stage to Mas de la Costa, he was dropped from the group of favourites. The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM reacted swiftly and changed its tactics, giving Hermann Pernsteiner the green light to chase his own ambitions. The Austrian climber rewarded this decision with a courageous ride on the enormously steep slopes of the final ascent, missing out on a top10 result by only 5 seconds and crossing the finish line in 11th. The 8th stage was a bit easier, and a large lead group include Dylan Teuns took charge of things. On the wet and slippery roads Teuns found no way to get away from the group, so he crossed the finish line in 6th place, moving back into 2nd place in the overall standings just one day after losing the leader’s jersey.
Before the first rest day the Vuelta a España served up another serious test for the riders: The super hard stage 9 featured one hors category climb and two cat1 and cat2 climbs each over a distance of less than 100 kilometers. Soon after the start a large group of 35 riders went up the road and set the pace for quite a while. The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM had Hermann Pernsteiner in that group, and the Austrian soon showed that he was one of the best climbers in the lead group. But then a thunderstorm with heavy rain and hail upended the race. In the end young Slovene Tadej Pogacar won the stage with Hermann Pernsteiner finishing in 6th place, not far behind the likes of Primoz Roglic and Alejandro Valverde. Thanks to this strong performance the Austrian moved up to 12th in the overall standings before the first rest day - just two positions behind his team mate Dylan Teuns.
The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM had a third race in its agenda this Sunday with the one-day race Bretagne Classic-Ouest France. For a while two riders in red, gold and dark blue were part of a large, first group on the road with Matej Mohoric and Ivan Cortina, but in the finale Cortina lost contact and a lot of time on the way to the finish. Matej Mohoric crossed the finish line in Plouay in the third group on the road in 11th, missing out on a top10 result by a tire width.
34TH DEUTSCHLAND TOUR
STAGE 2: MARBURG - GÖTTINGEN, 202KM
1. Alexander Kristoff, NOR, in 4:21.04 hours
2. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
3. Yves Lampaert, BEL, st
STAGE 3: GÖTTINGEN - EISENACH, 189KM
1. Kasper Asgreen, DEN, in 4:27.53 hours
2. Jasper Stuyven, BEL, st
3. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.17
STAGE 4: EISENACH - ERFURT, 159.5KM
1. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 3:44.48 hours
2. Yves Lampaert, BEL, st
3. Alexander Kristoff, NOR, st
FINAL OVERALL STANDINGS:
1. Jasper Stuyven, BEL, in 16:23.09 hours
2. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.03
3. Yves Lampaert, BEL, + 0.12
FINAL POINTS’ CLASSIFICATION:
1. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, 37 points
2. Alexander Kristoff, NOR, 36 points
3. Jasper Stuyven, BEL, 30 points