Race report

Committed team effort sees Romain Bardet sprint to 3rd place on hilltop finish at Tour of the Alps

Tour of the Alps

The penultimate day of action at the Tour of the Alps saw the peloton roll out of Villabassa and head towards the Austrian town of Kals am Grossglockner, faced with a 143 kilometre long parcours that included 2200 metres of climbing and a hilltop finish.

It was a fast and intense start to the day, with lots of attacks at the head of the bunch as the breakaway looked to form out front. Unfortunately, a crash in the bunch saw Romain Bardet and Marco Brenner involved for the team, but both managed to avoid serious injury and quickly returned to the peloton. Eventually after 60 kilometres of racing a group of 15 escaped, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch.

Those ahead were only allowed to build up a gap of around two minutes and with it holding steady, the team came to assist in the chase with youngsters Max Poole and Pepijn Reinderink doing a brilliant job to pull on the front in the valley. Heading onto the final climb, which was split into two parts, Marco Brenner and Chris Hamilton took over and set a tempo, looking to reel in the strong move.

With the gap to those ahead falling, attacks in the peloton flew with eventual stage winner Lopez managing to escape within the final four kilometres. Bardet reacted and tagged onto a group of chasers but there was a lack of cooperation and those behind soon came back, with Arensman helping to pull in the finale to set up the sprint for the final podium spot. Giving everything all the way to the line, Bardet out-sprinted the rest of the group to claim third place and four valuable bonus seconds; moving him to within two seconds of race leader Bilbao. Arensman followed home in ninth place on the stage, making for another double top ten finish as he retains the white jersey as best young rider and moves into seventh on GC ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

Bardet said: “We can be proud of the team effort today, everyone gave it their all in the process. We wanted to make it hard to chase the stage win and it came close. Hats off to the guys for their help and we’ll give it one more go tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “Our goal was to try and win the stage today with Romain. It was a really a hard start, with a lot of fighting for a long time before the break eventually went. The gap was kept tight so in the valley road we helped in the chase, with our two young guys Max and Pepijn doing a really good job there, pulling full gas. When we started the climb Marco and Chris set a bit of a tempo to try and bring the break back. In the end, Lopez jumped away and Romain also went away in a group on the chase. Finishing third on the stage, taking four seconds time bonus it brings us real close now on the GC. It’s certainly all to fight for tomorrow, so we’ll be in for an interesting stage.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel Astana Qazaqstan Team 3:29:04 20
2 PINOT Thibaut Groupama - FDJ 0:07 10
3 BARDET Romain Team DSM 0:15 5
9 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
52 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 4:59 -
63 REINDERINK Pepijn Team DSM 5:30 -
77 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 9:38 -
78 POOLE Max Team DSM ,, -