Race report

3rd place in final stage sprint at ZLM Tour for Sam Welsford and Team DSM

ZLM Tour

The final day of racing at the ZLM Tour saw the peloton take on 160 kilometres from Made to Rijsbergen, and another flat parcours. It was a steady start to proceedings with a five rider breakaway escaping early into the stage, quickly building up their lead, with all Team DSM riders in the bunch; focusing on conserving energy for the finale.

As the kilometres ticked by, the advantage for those out front slowly fell but they fought hard and heading into the last 25 kilometres it stood at just over two minutes. Tim Naberman helped to contribute to the chase alongside the other teams and through a crosswind section it reduced dramatically. Things slowed and regrouped somewhat before a crash saw the already reduced bunch split even more, with Patrick Eddy, Pavel Bittner, John Degenkolb and Sam Welsford well to the fore.

Heading into the finale the team fully committed to the sprint with Eddy, Degenkolb and Bittner all taking strong pulls at the front, with Bittner acting as last lead out rider for finisher Welsford. Coming around the final few kinks and twists in the road, Welsford gave it his all and fought to the line; ending the day with a good third place for the team.

“It was a windy final stage today and everyone really wanted to go full for it,” explained Welsford at the finish. “The break stayed away for a while and we had Tim up there to help the chase. All the boys were fully committed to sprinting for me today, keeping me out of the wind and safe until the final. There weren’t many people left going into the final because of the crash and the tough circuit. John, Pavel and Pat all did an awesome job to keep me out of trouble going into the finish. I was caught a bit in the wind in the last kilometre but really happy to finish on a high this week with a podium after the bad luck we had. It was super commitment from the guys today and it shows that we can compete when the luck doesn’t go against us.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 KOOIJ Olav Jumbo-Visma 3:27:45 20
2 SALBY Alexander Riwal Cycling Team ,, 10
3 WELSFORD Sam Team DSM ,, 5
29 BITTNER Pavel Team DSM ,, -
39 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 0:48 -
40 EDDY Patrick Team DSM ,, -
52 NABERMAN Tim Team DSM 1:47 -