Thomas Wins Bayern Rundfahrt
Sam Bennett won the sprint in the fifth and final stage of the 2014 Bayern Rundfahrt in Germany. The 23-year-old Team NetApp-Endura rider was thus able to celebrate an additional victory on German soil after already winning "Rund um Köln" and being just shy of victory in a photo finish at the Skoda Velothon Berlin. At the conclusion of today’s 160 kilometer stage from Wassertrüdingen to Nürnberg, he relegated Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R Mondiale - Focus Bikes) and Raymond Kreder (Team Garmin-Sharp-POC) to second and third place in Nuremberg. Bennett also clenched the sprint jersey with his win of the day.
Today’s stage did not have any significant impact on the tour's general classification. Team Sky Pro Cycling's Geraint Thomas won the tour by finishing 19 seconds ahead of IAM Cycling's Mathias Frank, while Thomas' teammate Vasil Kiryienka finished third, 35 seconds behind Thomas. Bennett's teammate Leopold König, who came in third in the queen stage, finished fourth in the general classification. Though the route was challenging, Thomas was never troubled in the fifth and final stage of the Rundfahrt and crossed the finish line as part of the front group.
Commenting on his stage victory, Bennett told RoadCycling.com "The guys did a great job today. Bartosz looked after me in the peloton during the stage. He made the day a lot easier. Everyone worked well together the whole day and also to help make it a bunch sprint. In the laps Michael looked after me. He did an awesome job in the last kilometer putting me in a good position."
"It was a very fast and dangerous final. I got a little boxed in between 450-180 meters to go, but the bunch pulled to the left and left the door open. It was really perfect," Bennett added.
After being celebrated on the podium in Nürnberg, Thomas used the opportunity to thank his teammates for supporting and protecting him in the race. "It was a tough final stage, which meant the boys had to ride hard all day,” Thomas told Roadcycling.com and added. “But all I had to do was sit in behind them and have confidence that they’d finish the job for me, which they did, so all good."
"I’d done a lot of hard training before the race at our altitude training camp in Tenerife, and I was pleased to feel strong and ride hard here. This win has definitely boosted my confidence heading into a busy summer. I’ve got the Criterium du Dauphine coming up next and then hopefully the Tour de France. It was nice to get this result, but now I’m already focusing on helping Chris [Froome], and I’m really looking forward to that."