Just one second separated our rider from a top 10 finish at the Deutschland Tour.
The fourth and final day of the race, 160 kilometers from Erlangen to Nürnberg, had six classified climbs and around 2000 vertical meters which made for some spectacular racing until the road flattened out with 40 kilometers to go. As usual, Deceuninck – Quick-Step was one of the main protagonists, Jannik Steimle being among the first to try and open up the stage.
When his courageous attempt was neutralized by the peloton, it was time for Rémi Cavagna to test the waters. The French Champion was joined by two men, together with whom he established a two-minute gap, but the chasers ramped up the tempo on the hilly part of the race and brought everything back together. Undeterred by this, João Almeida decided to light up the stage and went into offensive mode, before another attack of the same Steimle.
The final part of the race didn’t favour these bold moves, and the bunch managed to bring them back and make sure the group remained as one under the flamme rouge. There, Yves Lampaert launched an audacious attack which brought him close to victory, only a big effort of the peloton stopping him with 300 meters to go. Steimle still had something left in the legs and sprinted to seventh, a result that saw him finish 12th on the general classification, a mere second from what would have been a top 10.
“The Deutschland Tour was a great experience, it felt amazing to ride my first stage race here since turning pro. It was really special to have so many fans on the road shouting my name and encouraging me. We missed a bit of luck despite doing our best every day, but even in these conditions I am content with the race and the legs I had, it all gives me a lot of confidence for the next weeks”, Jannik said after the finish.
Photo credit: ©Mark Van Hecke / Getty Images