Race report

Double top ten finish after explosive stage in the Alps

Tour of the Alps

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

The second stage at the Tour of the Alps saw the peloton take on a short but very testing 121 kilometre long parcours which featured three climbs in the second half of the day. As the bunch rolled out of Innsbruck a few probing attacks were made before a six rider breakaway got clear. With all Team DSM riders in the peloton, focus switched to conserving energy for the tough finale.

Leon Heinschke and Michael Storer did a good job of positioning the team going onto the two main climbs of the day and on the latter an infernal pace was set from the bottom. The peloton drastically whittled down on the steep slopes, with Jai Hindley and Romain Bardet riding prominently to the fore for the team. The strong pace continued and riders were on groups all over the road as they hit the summit, with Bardet and Hindley in the second chasing group on the road behind lone-leader Yates.

A brilliant descent from the Team DSM duo saw them bridge to the group ahead as they hit the flat valley road before the final climb to the line, where the attacks flew. Both Bardet and Hindley were active in trying to get a group clear and it was the latter who escaped in a group of five. They worked well together before more attacks were made on the steep slopes and their group split. Hindley dug deep and gave it his all on the way to the line, finishing in sixth place on the stage, while Bardet rode strongly in the group immediately behind and crossed the line in ninth place.

The double top ten on the stage for the team leaves them in a solid position for the coming days as the tough hills and mountains come thick and fast, with some more attacking racing expected.

“It was a short and pretty intense stage,” explained Hindley at the finish. “All the guys rode super well. The young guys Henri and Leon are doing a good job each day here, as is the rest of the team. Everyone did a good job to bring me and Romain as fresh as possible into the last categorised climb. It was just race-on up there, it was full gas. It was really nice to have Romain there to work together in numbers and he rode at a really nice tempo on the climb. We came down the descent and it was all back together. We could play off of having two guys there and we were jumping with the moves up the valley road. I went in a move that stayed away from the guys behind. In the end it was a pretty good day.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “It was a solid performance from the guys today. We brought Romain and Jai into position in a good way, ready or the final. When it kicked off, we were there and active in the attacks which was good. I think when we reflect on today we wanted to go for a nice result and we did some good things there on the road so we can be satisfied with the performance.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange 3:17:42 20
2 SIVAKOV Pavel INEOS Grenadiers 0:41 10
3 MARTIN Dan Israel Start-Up Nation 0:58 5
6 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM 1:17 -
9 BARDET Romain Team DSM 1:42 -
32 ROCHE Nicolas Team DSM 3:11 -
116 VANDENABEELE Henri Team DSM 17:56 -
121 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM 19:44 -
123 STORER Michael Team DSM ,, -
134 HEINSCHKE Leon Team DSM 22:14 -