The 20th edition of the Vattenfall Cyclassics started spectacularly with the riders departing from a ferry in the harbor of Kiel. From there the organizers sent the peloton south towards Hamburg. With 221 kilometers and the main difficulties in the latter part of the race the team kept it’s cards close to the chest.
An early break of four took off after only a few kilometers. Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18), and Martin Mortensen (Cult Energy) built up a solid lead of around 5 minutes.
Halfway through the race the peloton increased its pace. Lotto-Soudal for eventual winner André Greipel were among the first to take on the break. Nevertheless, it was MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung who decided to move to the front with the first of three passages of the Waseberg climb looming at the horizon. Andreas Stauff managed to get into a six rider chase group, that went clear over the climb. The group stayed away for a while eating its way into the initial breakaway. Ultimately, they were reeled in just minutes before the peloton also caught the remnants of former break.
In the finale the racing got hectic. Several crashes and plenty of attacks on the other two passages of the Waseberg climb led to a thinning out of the peloton. Unfortunately, both Edvald Boasson Hagen and Gerald Ciolek were among those held up by one of the late crashes.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg was the lone MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rider to stay at the front. In the end he just missed out on the Top10 coming home in 13th position. Greipel took the win from last years winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek).
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
“We had bad luck today with Edvald and Gerald both crashing late. I found myself alone in the front group that made it to the finish. It was quite a bit of a fight and I just couldn’t get into the right position to get a better result.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
“We were riding well together until this one crash. Everybody fell onto each other and Gerald and me were also involved. When I got back on the bike it was already to late to be able to play a roll at the end.”