The 100th edition of the Rund um Köln saw Dutch Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) taking the win, as he crossed the line ahead of André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin). Kristian Sbaragli and Mark Renshaw came home in 4th and 5th positions to add another great result to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s palmarès today.
After 20km of racing the peloton had reached the hills in the outskirts of Cologne and let a group of 6 riders go. The break established a gap of 4 minutes, which was coming down rapidly, however, as the race headed back to the city with roughly 50 km left of racing. Some riders tried to bridge across to the break, which led to the break being reeled in with around 180km covered.
Taylor Phinney (BMC) tried to steal the win from the sprinters with an attack inside the final kilometers. His effort was fruitless though, as LottoNL-Jumbo and Lotto-Soudal brought him back. Our African Team positioned itself right behind them. With a few hundred meters left Greipel opened the sprint. However, only Groenewegen was able to match his speed.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
Lotto-Soudal controlled the race, so we didn’t need to go hard until the final kilometers. I had good sensations but with strong sprinters like Groenewegen, Greipel and Arndt still in the mix it was always going to be tough.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
Rund um Köln is a rather unpredictable race. Sometimes there’s a lot of action all the way through. However, this year it was different. Lotto-Soudal controlled the race from the start, and received help from teams like LottoNL-Jumbo later. They allowed the break a gap that was easy to control. Coming into the finale Mark was leading out Kristian. But on this flat run-in it was hard to get the better of Groenewegen, Greipel and Arndt. All in all I think we showed a solid performance with two riders finishing inside the top5.