Münsterland Giro: Gibbons sprints to 12th in hectic finale

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The Münsterland Giro saw Ryan Gibbons as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s best placed finisher. In only his second race for the World Tour outfit, our South African stagiaire crossed the line in 12th position. The win went to John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin). Roy Jans (Wanty Groupe Gobert) finished in second place ahead of Pascal Ackermann (RadNet-Rose).

The sun was out at the start in Gronau and it didn’t take long for a group of six riders to forge clear. Silvio Herklotz (Bora-Argon18), Aime de Gent (Topsport-Vlaanderen), Pawel Bernas (Verva-ActiveJet), Roland Thalmann (Team Roth), Robert William Kessler (LKT-Team Brandenburg) and Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Metec TKH) built up a lead of more than 6 minutes. They would stay away for most of the 215 kilometers. However, when the race reached the circuit in Münster it was all back together.

3 laps of the finishing circuit needed to be raced in the end. And these would turn out to be decisive, partly due to the wet roads. The rain started when the peloton reached the outskirts of Münster and on the cobbled sections of the course the peloton eventually would split.

Our African team rode attentively and managed to place both Bernhard Eisel and Ryan Gibbons an a group of 22 riders that rode away from the rest in the last couple of kilometers. In a hectic finale our road captain rode Gibbons into position and all looked good until 500 meters to go. But when the riders opened the final sprint things got a bit messy. Gibbons tried to react but couldn’t quite close the gap that Degenkolb and a few others managed to open as he had to go around some riders. In the end he crossed the line in 12th place, just missing out on the top10.

Rolf Aldag – Head of Performance
We wanted to give Ryan a chance today. He has quite a sprint and so we wanted to play his card. The race started in good conditions, but when we reached the final laps in Münster the rain started pouring down. It was quite tricky on the cobbled sections. The team rode well though and tried to stay on top of things all day. Into the final 5 kilometers a group of around 20 riders managed to get a gap. Ryan and Bernie were in there. All looked good for us until the last few hundred meters when Ryan had make a move that cost him some places, I guess. He’s a bit disappointed now, but he did a good race. It’s racing after all and today was certainly not an easy day in the end.