Deutschland Tour arrives in Merzig
Max Schachmann will start the final day just a handful of seconds behind the new leader of the race.
Quick-Step Floors and Maximilian Schachmann were prominent from start to finish on the penultimate stage of the Deutschland Tour, but bad luck prevented the 24-year-old German from retaining the overall jersey which he seized thanks to his emphatic victory in Trier, one day earlier.
After an attritional start to the day, our team took responsibility in the peloton, making sure the seven men who plugged away were always kept on a leash over the Ardennes-type climbs which once again spiced up things, just as it happened on Friday. Rémi Cavagna, Jhonatan Narvaez and James Knox prevented the race from breaking apart on the last hills of the day, bringing back both the breakaway and several attackers, who tried to pile on the pressure on the Mettlach climb (1300 meters, 7.9%).
The bonus seconds atop Eller Weg served as an incentive for some riders to attack, but despite their efforts, Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Pieter Weening (Roompot) were overhauled with two kilometers to go, just as the road flattened out. Well-positioned under the flamme rouge, Schachmann kept advancing through the field, but a touch of wheels in front of him sent riders tumbling everywhere and slowed down Max, who had to avoid the pile-up and couldn't properly contest the sprint, won by Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), the new wearer of the red jersey.
In the general classification, Max slipped to second ahead of the last day, which will see him start with a six-second deficit as the peloton will travel from Lorsch to Stuttgart, host of the 1991 and 2007 World Championships. With another hilly parcours on the cards, the overall is far from being a done deal.
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