Roelandts Sprints to a Top Ten Finish as Caruso Holds onto his GC Position on Stage 3 in Germany25. August 2018, Merzig (GER) — Road Team
Jürgen Roelandts secured a top ten finish in Merzig on Deutschland Tour stage 3 today after a chaotic sprint to the line while Damiano Caruso finished just behind to remain seventh overall with one stage remaining.
It took over 30km, of the day’s 177km course, for a seven-rider breakaway to be able to loosen the grip of the peloton enough to go clear at the front of the race. However, at first, the leaders were kept on a short leash with their advantage hovering inside one minute before the peloton, approaching the 100km to go mark, allowed the gap to extend out to over four minutes 20km later.
It was race leader at the start of the day, Max Schachmann’s Quick-Step Floors teammates who were controlling the tempo behind the breakaway heading towards the punchy finale that was littered with short and sharp climbs and with 35km to go, the gap had fallen to just over one minute.
Caruso tried his luck as part of an eight-rider group that attacked off the front of the peloton as the leaders’ advantage fell further but with his General Classification rivals sensing the danger of letting the group go too far up the road, they were pulled back before a reduced main bunch caught the final rider from the breakaway with 8km to go.
In the end, despite a late attack in the closing kilometers of the day, the reduced bunch went under the flamme rouge all together with Matej Morohič (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) going on to take the stage win, and moving into the leader’s jersey, after a hectic and crash-marred sprint to the line.
Roelandts was well-positioned when the sprint was launched and while both him and Caruso were able to avoid the crash in the final meters of the day, he unfortunately was blocked and lost some of his speed before eventually crossing the line tenth.
Caruso finished just behind his BMC Racing Team teammate and remains seventh overall heading into tomorrow fourth and final stage, 25 seconds behind Morohič.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“I’m pretty disappointed about the sprint today as if it wasn’t for the crash, I think I could have won today. I still had my kick left and I felt really good all day even over the hills. I think I was the fastest in the group and it was a pity to miss out on the opportunity to go for it. On the other hand though, I was glad that I stayed upright as I was almost caught up in the crash. I was struggling a little bit over the first two days and you could see that I was feeling better in my performance today but unfortunately not in the result.”
“I felt good today and the team was working a lot for me. Like yesterday, the final was really chaotic and it was always up and down. In the sprint, Jürgen was in a good position and then the crash on the right side of the road messed up our plan because he lost his position and maybe even the stage due to that. I was really close to the crash as well because I was in his wheel so, while we are of course disappointed to lose the chance to go for the sprint, we have to be happy that we didn’t go down in the crash.”
“Everything is still all to play for tomorrow and the race isn’t over until we cross the line tomorrow afternoon. Anything can happen so it is important to stay focused and try to find the right moment to maybe do something. You never know what can happen.”
Stage 3: Trier > Merzig, 177km
Top 3: 1. Matej Morohič (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) 2. Nils Politt (Team Katusha-Alpecin) 3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 10. Jürgen Roelandts 11. Damiano Caruso 26. Kilian Frankiny