Team MTN-Qhubeka shine in Germany

27 May 2013

Gerald Ciolek’s sixth place stage finish on Sunday ended Team MTN-Qhubeka’s successful appearance at the International Bayern Rundfahrt in Bavaria, Germany. Victory on the final stage went to Heinrich Haussler.

The Team IAM rider won an exciting finale after 169.9 kilometres between Kelheim and Nurnberg ahead of Basque Juan-Jose Del Lobado (Euskaltel) and Belarussian Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R).

Milan-San Remo winner Ciolek finished the only German stage race for professionals tenth behind the overall winner, Italian Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida).

‘We have reached our goals’

“Unfortunately our hope for a stage win didn’t work out today, but with one stage win and the top 10 ranking overall, we have reached our goals,” said Ciolek after the finish.

“We can be satisfied with our team’s appearance at the only remaining German stage race. We rode for the win in every stage.”

“Gerald and the guys once again presented the Qhubeka project to German sports fans in a great way,” said directeur sportif Jens Zemke.

‘A lot of potential’

“There is a lot of potential in this team and in African cycling. There is still a lot of work to do and we can’t rest on our laurels.”

The last stage was marked by an escape group, which got away despite the bad weather conditions of rain and cold but, as in the days before, the peloton caught them shortly before the closing city circuit in Nurnberg and the expected sprint finale in the Nurnberger Old Town was set up.

Team MTN-Qhubeka once again showed itself to be on the same level as the best pro teams at the Bayern Rundfahrt. Riders wearing the yellow MTN-Qhubeka jerseys finished in the top 10 in every single stage of the race.

Stages successes

Team captain Ciolek opened the race by sprinting to fourth and second place on the first two stages before winning the third stage on Friday, which gave the team its first yellow leader’s jersey.

On Saturday, Lithuanian Ignatas Konovalovas proved his good form after a lengthy layoff because of injury by finishing tenth in the time trial and Ciolek rounded matters off with a sixth place finish on the final stage.

This year the 34th Bayern Rundfahrt ran over five stages and 785,4 kilometres from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm in the Hallertau over the Bavarian forest to Nurnberg.

SAinfo reporter

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