Race report

Good start in Alsace sees double top ten finish in fast-paced TTT prologue

Tour Alsace

The Tour Alsace got underway this evening with a four kilometre team time trial prologue around the streets of Sausheim; where teams were split in two, going off in two waves of three riders. Pan-flat, the course had a good mix of power sections combined with some sharp turns, making for a testing opening start to the race.

The first group down the ramp for the team comprised of Tobias Lund Andresen, Leon Heinschke and Hannes Wilksch. The trio started well, powering their way around the short but technical course to stop the clock in five minutes and seven seconds, moving into the provisional hot seat at that moment. The times would get faster throughout the evening, with proceedings close at the top of the standings.

With wave two of teams heading out on the road, Pavel Bittner, Enzo Leijnse and Casper van Uden left the start house to get their team time trial underway. Just like the team’s first trio, the riders smashed their way around the route, taking the corners excellently and finishing fast with a time of five minutes and four seconds, moving into a provisional third place.

After the dust had settled and all the other teams had finished their efforts, the team’s first trio ended the day in ninth place, with the second group claiming a fifth; with only a handful of seconds separating the top ten. Tomorrow’s stage sees the riders take the hills and a punchy finish.

“It was a really short and really fast four point three kilometre long TTT today,” explained Van Uden at the finish. “We rode as fast as possible out there and it resulted in fifth place for us, with the other guys doing well too. It was a really close battle, with the top five all within roughly one second of each other in the end.”

Team DSM coach Roy Curvers added: “It was a short course and really fast, where the first five teams were really close together. The guys gave everything they had and we finished fifth with the second group. It was all within one and a half seconds roughly, so it’s really hard to say what we could have done better. I don’t think we could have done much better, but it was just the really small details that made the difference between the top teams today. Both of the groups did a great job and finished in the top ten, so that’s a really good to start to the week for us and we’ll take that with us into the next stages.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points