Emanuel Buchmann just a few minutes behind the group of favourites
Due to a course consisting of 6 climbs (5 of them in the last 77 km), the sprinters played no role at all in today’s stage results. As for BORA – Argon 18 the change of terrain does not change the team’s tactics. Again, the goal was to get a least one rider into the group of the day.
After a very fast start with many attacks and an average speed of 44.4 km/h in the first hour, Bartosz Huzarski managed to breakaway along with 8 other riders after the first KOM of the day. At this stage of the race, Sam Bennett struggled to follow the high pace of the peloton. But when the group went clear, the peloton settled and Sam was able to come back. At the end of the day, he finished safe in one of the later groups along with teammate Shane Archbold. Again a hard effort, and it did pay off.
Shortly before the heavy part of the course, the leading group split into two, the front group with 3 riders and the second group with 6 riders, including Bartosz. Then, 66 km before the finish line the 3 leaders pulled out a 15-minute lead of over the peloton. The chasing group had a gap of about 2 minutes behind the leaders.
Bartosz presented BORA – Argon 18’s colours very well throughout the day and showed a very strong performance. When the leaders split up on the the penultimate climb, Bartosz also dropped some of his companions and chased the last podium spot along with R. Majka. Even though he gave it everything, he was still caught by the group of favourites just 20 meters before the finish line. In the end, he crossed the line in 6th place, which is a great result for him and the team after a very hard day on the road.
Young German climber Emanuel Buchmann has also fought very well on the first day in the mountains. He only lost 3 minutes on the group comprised of Froome, Valverde and Quintana.
“Today I didn’t have the best legs, so I lost contact to the group of favourites on the third and last climb. I felt good, but I missed the speed to follow the big names. But I haven’t lost a lot of time, so its OK, and I already look forward to the high mountains.” – Emanuel Buchmann
“Today, the big battle for positions failed to appear because the sprinters were thankfully a little bit tired. At the beginning, I felt the strain of the last 2 very long days, but in the end my legs came back and better. I found a perfect group and so I was able to push to the limit on the last two climbs. Now I will look day by day and then we will see what is possible.” - Bartosz Huzarski