Sam Bennett wins 102nd edition of Rund um Köln
Jun 10 2018 10:30 pm CET

Sam Bennett wins 102nd edition of Rund um Köln
Sam Bennett wins 102nd edition of Rund um Köln
Photo of Sam Bennett (c)BORA-hansgrohe / VeloImages

Sam Bennett has won Rund um Köln. The Bora-hansgrohe sprinter beat Mihkel Raim and Szymon Sajnok in the bunch sprint. Home favourite Marcel Kittel finished fifth.

The 102nd edition of the German cycling race Rund um Köln started this morning after former Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek wove the starting flag. The peloton with a 143 riders from 26 different countries left Cologne’s Rheinauhafen for a 207 kilometre race through the hilly surroundings of the city. The finish line was drawn on the boulevard along the river Rhine, after a flat local lap of 6 kilometres that the riders had to cover three times.

Many attacks took place in the opening phase of the race. Eventually a group of seven riders managed to break clear. Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille), Kristian Sbaragli (Israel Cycling Academy), Sjoerd van Ginneken (Roompot), Igor Boev (Gazprom), Florian Stork (Sunweb Development Team), Davide Orrico (Vorarlberg) and Joab Schneiter (Switzerland) found each other at the head of the race and managed to create a gap of 4 minutes and 10 seconds.

The pack then kept a steady pace to keep the lead group within reach. The gap was quickly brought down when Bora-hansgrohe started working for Sam Bennett. With about 50 kilometres to go the gap reeled in the break. A new group of about 30 riders formed in front on the final climbs of the day, but the peloton stayed close behind. In the flat run-in to Cologne the peloton regrouped and a bunch sprint seemed inevitable.

Bora took the initiative in the three local laps, and Bennett finished off the great work by his teammates. Mihkel Raim finished second for Israel Cycling Academy, while CCC's Szymon Sajnok completed the podium. Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) started his sprint too early and finished fifth. Bennett continues his winning streak and took his fourth season victory after three victories in the Giro last month.

By Siebe Kok



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