It was a hard and fast start to the stage with attacks continuously flying off the front of the peloton before an initial group of 30 riders, including Geschke and Kamil Gradek broke clear only to split in two after 70 kilometers of racing.
However, with the gap still less than one minute, the 16 leaders, including Geschke, were caught 10 kilometers later, leading to new attacks and forcing the peloton to fracture again with CCC Team on the right side of the split.
At the halfway point of the 202-kilometer race, the gap between the two halves of the peloton was around two minutes as up ahead Riccardo Zoidl was trying to close the gap to a solo attacker, who was able to maintain an advantage until inside 10 kilometers to go.
Zoidl was eventually pulled back as the peloton came back together with 40 kilometers to go before, with the pace picking up, the reduced bunch, which still included Geschke, Gradek, Gijs Van Hoecke and Joey Rosskopf, was strung out in single file.
Before the catch was made, Rosskopf was active at the font of the main field and he was still there helping Geschke alongside Van Hoecke as fresh moves were made but, nothing was able to stick and in the end, a select group of riders, including CCC Team’s German leader, went on to sprint for the win, taken by Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates).
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“It was a very hard race today right from the beginning and I was happy that I was always up there at the front of the race. At first, there was a really big breakaway with some good names in it and I was happy to be there but it didn’t stick. Then, after half of the stage had been covered, there was a different situation again and a bit more control. In the end, it was a hard finale also and overall, it was just a really hard day. I’m happy with my legs but, the result was not super. However, saying that, it was a sprint with around 30 guys and that’s not my strongest ability so I think with the legs I have now I can look forward to the next two days.”
Stage 2: Marburg > Göttingen (202km)
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) 3. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
CCC Team Top 3: 15. Simon Geschke 31. Joey Rosskopf 52. Gijs Van Hoecke