Cold, Rainy Stage Opens Bayern RundfahrtWed 22 May 2013
The first stage of Bayern Rundfahrt marked a return to racing for Simon Gerrans, Daryl Impey, Sebastian Langeveld, Stuart O’Grady and Sam Bewley. Gerrans, Impey, Langeveld and O’Grady have been on an extended break since their respective classics campaigns, with Impey welcoming a son, Aydan Xavier, into his family earlier this month. Bewley has recovered from a collarbone break that saw him sidelined since his crash at Circuit Sarthe in April.
“We can see that the guys that were on a break did some good training,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “They're healthy, fresh and ready to build up to their next goals.”
The team rode in support of sprinter Aidis Kruopis on the opening stage of the five day German tour. Henning Bommel (Rad-Net Rose), Grischa Janorschke (Nutrixxion Abus), Javier Mejias (Novo Nordisk) and Alexander Grad (Heizomat) animated the early action. The quartet combined forces to open an advantage of 11 minutes before the chase sprung into effect.
Eighty five kilometres from the finish, Team Sky massed on the front of the peloton. Eventually, FDJ, Blanco and ORICA-GreenEDGE lent their support. The collaborative efforts saw the gap rapidly tumble, and the break was overtaken inside the last five kilometres.
“Team Sky and Blanco did the main work in the chase,” said Lapage. “We also helped with FDJ. The race came back together before the finish.”
“With 1.5 kilometres, there was a small hill,” Lapage continued. “We were doing the lead out for Aidis, but he didn’t recover from the effort over the hill in time for the sprint. We had Sam, Clarkey and Impey ahead of him. Daryl did the last turn. Aidis tried to come around him and sprint for the line, but he didn’t have his usual legs.”
Alex Rasmussen (Garmin Sharp) took the stage win and with it the first race leader’s jersey.
Lapage noted that the weather today was less than ideal and the forecast tomorrow includes the possibility of snow.
“This has been a difficult season for the riders with the weather,” he noted. “It was cold and rainy all day. Usually at this point of the year, it’s nearly summer. It has been cold too long. Everyone is suffering.”