Race report

Nikias Arndt 3rd after aggressive Team DSM display at Rund um Köln

Rund um Köln

A testing and hilly parcours awaited the peloton at Rund um Köln today. Albeit with a flatter finale, several teams lined up aiming for a bunch sprint finish but Team DSM had a different idea. A breakaway escaped early into the day and built up an advantage of around two minutes but approaching the first classified climb after 40 kilometres, the team came forward en masse and putting in a stinging acceleration that split the race to pieces.

Nikias Arndt, Pavel Bittner, Casper Pedersen and Max Poole all made it into the front group of around 30 riders and alongside other teams, put the hammer down to make sure the rest of the bunch didn’t return. From there things settled but approaching the final 50 kilometres the attacks started in the group, with Arndt escaping alongside a duo from Bora. They worked well together and built up a large gap over the chasing group where Pedersen and Bittner did well to demoralise and disrupt the chase.

Heading into the finale the two teammates used their numbers and kept attacking Arndt who responded to as many moves as possible but eventually he could no longer follow the repeated attacks, with the duo escaping. Nonetheless, Arndt pushed all the way to the line to take a hard-fought third place while in the chasing group Pedersen set up Bittner who sprinted to ninth – making for a well-deserved double top ten for the team.

“t was my home race today and I think it was a good one for us,” explained Arndt. “We started with five but Marius stopped early so we were with four in the race. From quite early, after 40 kilometres, it was full on racing and we managed to have all four of us in the front group. We just continued with our open, aggressive race. Unfortunately I ended up alone with two Bora guys which made it very hard. I tried to save some energy so that I could play with them but they started already attacking me at 20 kilometres to the finish because apparently I wasn’t pulling enough. In the end I got third but I think as a team with our four guys we did a really, really good race. In the back they managed to set up Pavel good for the sprint but unfortunately he got blocked in the final. Overall I think it was a positive day for us. 

Team DSM coach Pim Lightart added: “We made a plan with only four guys in the race as Marius stopped early. We stuck to the plan and on the really steep climb we wanted to be the first team there so we could block the road a little bit and then accelerate over the top, which went really well. From that moment on after 40 kilometres we had all four guys in the first 27 riders of the race. Bora started attacking at around 50 kilometres to go and they went away with two guys alongside Nikias. I think Nikias did what he could in the situation and came home in third eventually. Pavel then focused on the sprint and he was ninth, with Casper just behind in 12th. I’m really happy with what I saw today, we had a really committed to the team and their role, with Max as well also doing a great job earlier; I think we can be happy with today.


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 POLITT Nils BORA - hansgrohe 4:28:21 125
2 VAN POPPEL Danny BORA - hansgrohe 0:13 85
3 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM 0:18 70
9 BITTNER Pavel Team DSM 0:48 25
12 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM 0:51 10
81 POOLE Max Team DSM 19:17 -
1005 MAYRHOFER Marius Team DSM -04:28:21 -
1006 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM ,, -