Victory narrowly missed, re-start gluckt: maximilian schachmann started the shortened cycling season with a podium finish.
On the hard course of the strade bianche in and around siena, the professional cyclist from berlin rode to third place behind belgian wout van aert and italian champion davide formolo.
Despite missing out on victory, schachmann was satisfied with the result. "I felt really good in the race. I was also surprised that I coped so well with the heat. In the end, it became very difficult due to the numerous climbs," the 26-year-old bora-hansgrohe pro told the deutsche presse-agentur. The thermometer showed up to 43 degrees at times.
The second aspect that made the race difficult were the sections of track with female gravel. The color gave the race its name: strade bianche, weibe straben. The bikes of the pros then also kicked up white dust in coarse clouds. "You couldn't see the ground because of the dust," schachmann said.
The german road champion was part of a funfer group that broke away in the decisive phase of the race. From this group he attacked about 20 kilometers before the finish line. "I noticed that many are already broken and wanted to try it out," he said. But schachmann was no longer able to counter van aerts' attack about seven kilometers later. "Wout made the decisive move in the downhill in the last sector. I then tried to get him back on track, but I didn't get as much cooperation," said schachmann.
Nevertheless, team bora-hansgrohe was satisfied. "We wanted to race for the win here. That's what we did with max," said sporting director enrico poitschke. The second captain – and actual classic king at bora – peter sagan, could not intervene in the decisive phase. "It wasn't his temperatures, the race was also a bit too hard for him," said poitschke.
Because of the expected heat battle in tuscany, team manager ralph denk had switched early to schachmann. "Mountain riders will have advantages over pure classic riders in this race," he predicted. With the ex-mountain biker van aert, someone from whom belgium also expects successes in round trips has prevailed.
Schachmann also has qualities as a cyclist, which he intends to demonstrate during the polish tour. He is also booked for the tour de france. Since his victory in the tradition-steeped paris-nice race before the cycling lockdown in march, schachmann has been one of the stars of the team. To be co-captain of a classic race with ex-world champion sagan is proof of the growing appreciation of the value of greening.