Gerrans rounds out podium at Vattenfall CyclassicsSun 24 Aug 2014
2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Simon Gerrans has rounded out the podium at the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg this afternoon, finishing third in the bunch sprint.
Fresh from a three-week training stint, the Australian champion was surprised to final his races legs so quickly in his return race.
“I felt pretty good from the start which I was surprised about,” Gerrans said.
“I had a few days off after San Sebastian just to recover from the Tour de France and that whole block of racing and then did a couple of weeks training up in the mountains.
“Hamburg was my first race back since then so it was a really good test actually.
“I came back down from the mountain only on Thursday so I thought I might be a little bit sluggish for the first half and hope to come good for the final but my sensations were pretty good right from the beginning.”
Gerrans and the team set realistic expectations, predicting the race would come down to a bunch kick suiting the pure sprinters. In the end, Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff was too fast for the rest of the field and took out the victory.
“I was waiting for the sprint with hopes on maybe finishing top five,” Gerrans said.
“We thought that would be a pretty good result.
“But we really hit it from the front and the guys did a really good job of putting me in a position to try and run a good place, so I was pretty happy to run third in the end.”
For ORICA-GreenEDGE, the race strategy went perfectly to plan.
“We never intended to have anyone in the early move so we let three guys go away pretty early and just sat back,” Gerrans said.
“Then when we got onto the finish circuit (Michael) Albasini, (Simon) Yates and (Jens) Keukeleire were all pretty active in making sure they were in any dangerous moves that went.
“I sat back for the sprint with the idea of having Mat Hayman look after me in the final and that was really how it unfolded.
“Everyone did what their job was for the day and then coming into the sprint when it came back together I had Albasini keeping me up the front and then Hayman and Keukeleire leading me out.”