The GP du Canton Argovie came down to a mass sprint and it was Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) who took top honours. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was 2nd in the bunch gallop with Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) taking 3rd place.
The GP du Canton Argovie, which is better known as the GP Gippingen, took place over its familiar 18.8km course in Gippingen with 10 laps to be completed. The short climb in the first 5km of the lap would be the only real obstacle standing in the way of the sprinters teams today but with numerous teams keen on a mass gallop, a breakaway stood little chance.
Four riders went on the attack early on but Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates sent their full contingent of riders to the head of the bunch to control the escape at just 4-minutes. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka held good position at the front of the peloton too, and waited for the final two laps to action its race strategy.
On the penultimate lap the break was caught as Ben King started to increase the tempo, making the race as hard as possible on the climb. Merhawi Kudus, Lachlan Morton and Mekseb Debesay were also on hand on the uphill gradient. The peloton was able to stay together over the climb and into the final lap. Debesay then went with a stinging attack by an Orica-Scott rider on the final climb but Trek was having none of it though and chased them down.
With the big sprint coming up our African Team looked to Jaco Venter and Nic Dougall to deliver Kristian Sbaragli and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to the line. Our South African Champion was best placed behind the Trek leadout but it was Modolo who got the jump on the uphill drag to the line. Janse van Rensburg was 5th across the line for our African Team, keeping our string of top 5 results going at this race for 3 years running now.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
It was a much more relaxed race than when I did it last year. With Degenkolb the favourite, Trek controlled the race. In the last 4 laps it started to get faster on the climb, but nobody was able to get a gap. The team was really impressive by covering all the moves on the final climb. In the sprint we were looking after Kristian, but it was pretty difficult to stay together with the headwind in the final 5km. We lost each other but I was still in an okay position after the final corner to sprint, but maybe missed a bit of a kick after spending the last 2 weeks training at altitude.