Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) won the Cyclassics Hamburg from a field sprint, even though Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was first across the line. Bouhanni was disqualified for an irregular sprint in the final. John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) was 2nd and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) completed the race podium. Mark Renshaw was our man in the mix, securing 7th place at the finish.
The 217km German World Tour classic took place on wet roads in Hamburg but six riders weren’t deterred by the moisture. The sextet attacked early on to form the break of the day and they were able to ride to a maximum lead of 6 minutes. With a whole host of big name sprinters present today, numerous teams contributed to the pace setting from the peloton.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had a strong squad for today’s Cyclassics Hamburg and Mark Renshaw was our plan A for the finale. The real action began when the race reached the 3 city circuit laps with 45km to go. The break had a lead of 2’45” as they started the Waseberg, a short sharp climb on the circuit, for the first time. Two riders were dropped from the lead group during the local laps as the overall gap to the peloton also started to decrease.
The peloton was dealt a blow just inside of 20km to go when a crash in the front few positions held up the majority of the main pack and slowed the chase somewhat. Bernhard Eisel and Youcef Reguigui were doing a great job to look after Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Renshaw and so our African Team was still in contention after the pile up.
The escapees were digging deep though and they still had 40″ to play with at the 6km to go mark. Janse van Rensburg did a few big turns at the head of the peloton to bring the gap right down. Boasson Hagen was also mightily impressive as he did an extended turn to pilot Renshaw into the final kilometer. Finally, the break was caught with 600m to go and despite a crash at 300m to go, Renshaw was still able to mix it up with some of the fastest names in the world to finish 7th.
Mark Renshaw – Rider
The team was really good today, looking after me all race and taking me into the final in a good position. It was touch and go near the end if the break was going to be caught but Reinie and Edvald worked right until the end for me. Edvald did a massive turn to set up the sprint so I was happy to get up for 7th.