The German sprinter digests a fast and tough sixth stage very well and just misses out on a bunch sprint victory by a few centimeters.
Right after the finish he said that the team had ridden very professionally. “We did a dominant lead-out, again, and unfortunately this time I missed it by a few centimeters.”
The Israel Start-Up Nation sprint train survived a climb with its summit twenty kilometers to the finish, when they brought Andre Greipel into position in the last few kilometers. In the lead-out, the German sprinter was passed in the very final few meters, finishing second.
“My teammates deserved a win today”, Greipel said. “It is incredible how dedicated they are, and how much they trust in my sprint.”
Just like in most of the earlier stages in Turkey, it took a long time to form the breakaway. In today’s stage 6, the race was almost halfway done when a small group of riders went up the road.
It meant just a small period of relative rest for the riders, as a serious last ascent at thirty kilometers from the line meant a big battle for positions in the kilometers before.
It was in that battle that the lead-out train lost Rick Zabel. He was involved in a minor crash, tried to come back to the front on the climb, nearly managed to, but couldn’t provide his support in the lead-out anymore.
Greipel: “We missed him in the train, however, together we will keep trying to get that stage victory here in Turkey.”
Pics: Bettini Photo and Sjors Beukeboom.
— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com