Tour of California: Schachmann rides solid ITT
The German confirmed once again his potential and cracked the top 15 overall at the US race.
Held on an out-and-back course around Big Bear Lake, at an altitude exceeding 2000 meters, the pan-flat Tour of California individual time trial was 24 kilometers in length and saw the riders take on a mix of turns, twists and long straight roads, which created some significant gaps by the end of the day.
Twice runner-up at the U23 World ITT Championships, Max Schachmann rode stage six at an average speed of 50.05 km/h and showed for the second time this season his skills against the clock that have helped him make it to the World Tour. After riding to a superb fourth in the Tour de Romandie prologue, the 23-year-old now concluded the hard Tour of California time trial in sixth place, only 21 seconds down on winner Jon Dibben (Team Sky).
Friday's result elevated Schachmann to 15th in the general classification, which is now led by George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), with one stage to go. The young German was one of the two Quick-Step Floors riders to put in a convincing display in the Big Bear Lake ITT, the other one being Enric Mas, who also jumped in the standings, sitting in 12th place now. If they will safely complete Saturday's stage in Pasadena, the two Klein Constantia alumni are sure to get their best GC result since turning pro, five months ago.
"It was a really painful time trial, not only because of the altitude, but also due to the fact that we arrived here after two days of very hard racing", said Max after stopping the clock in 28:48. "I had a good start and tried not to go over the limit in the first part of the course, but in the second half I began to suffer, as the altitude really took its toll. Considering all the factors, I am happy with my result."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele