The Rund um Koln would see a 5 rider sprint off to decide the victory with Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) being the first across the line. Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen) was 2nd and the 3rd place went to Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon).
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung started the race with high hopes and some really positive intentions as they continually animated the opening stages of the race. Adrien Niyonshuti was the first rider from our African team to go on the offensive today as he got into the intial break of the day.
Not content to have the break controlled all day by the sprinters teams for a simple bunch gallop, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung continued to attack and counter attack any moves in the undulations outside of Cologne. At one point Adrien, Nic Dougall, Andy Stuaff, Youcef Reguigui and Gerald Ciolek were all in the big breakaway that had over a minute on the peloton.
Finally the break seemed to stabalise with 16 riders, Youcef and Gerald included. They then drove out a 4 minute advantage, with the peloton under real pressure. As we approached the final hour of racing, 5 riders would attack the break and some good cohesion saw them establish 1 minute lead in the final 30km of the race. They would not be seen again as the peloton reeled in the chasers in the final city circuit laps.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
We got some good tips of the course thanks to our two local riders Gerald and Andy, they were extra motivated today. We wanted to have a hard race to minimize the options of the pure sprinters. Adrien was in the early break with the hope of going for the mountian prize. The bunch never them much of a gap and after 60km a big group of 28 riders formed ahead of the peloton. A few kilometers later this group was reduced to 16 with Gerald and Youcef present. It was a pity that the 5 riders who then attacked from the pack manged to stay away for the win because we were right in the game up to that point.