Considering the German riders and staff on Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, the Rund um Koln was seen as somewhat of a home race for the team and therefore an important event on our race calendar. The motivation was obviously really high in the Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung camp before the race and this would be carried over into the race.
A massive crash occurred inside the first few kilometers of the race resulting in split in the peloton, this incident would dramatically affect the race. 40 odd riders were in the front split and they pressed on ahead of a splintered peloton of riders. A huge chase followed before finally 50 riders in the second group joined the lead group after around 80km’s.
Just before this catch was made though, Jay Thomson from Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung attacked the leading group and quickly opened up a 30 second lead. Thomson would later be joined by Tim Gabauer (Stolting) and Gregor Muhlberger (Tirol) and the 3 riders rode themselves into a 1’30” lead. This would not be enough to hold off the chase from the peloton but it was just enough for Thomson to go on and claim the King of the Mountains and Points competition, scoring the most points in both competitions by being the fastest in the break.
The usual late attacks came after the Thomson group was caught with 15km to go but nothing would stick as Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung as well as Team Belkin were keen on setting the stage up for their sprinters. In the charge to the line though, it was Team NetApp-Endura’s Irishman, Sam Bennett who would take the sprint victory just ahead of Barry Markus (Belkin) and Gerald Ciolek from Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung.
Rider – Jay Thomson
The legs felt great today and i know my time will come to get the win but today was one super team effort. I’m really looking forward to the next couple of races that lie ahead for me now.
1st – Sam Bennett (NetApp-Endura)
2nd – Barry Markus (Belkin)
3rd – Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka)
Rund um Koln (Germany) – (21 April/UCI 1.1) Team Lineup
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Linus Gerdemann (GER)
Martin Reimer (GER)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Dennis van Niekerk (RSA)
Johann van Zyl (RSA)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Werrner Lenk (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)