Team Sunweb wrapped up a successful Tour de Yorkshire Sunday, coming away from the four-day British race with a stage win and a top-5 overall. The team’s German sprinter Max Walscheid scored his first win of the season, and first-year Australian rider Michael Storer put in an impressive ride to finish fifth overall.
Storer, a 20-year-old rookie pro, moved into contention on Stage 2, a 149km race from Barnsley to Ilkley that featured a hilltop finish. Riding his TCR Advanced SL and wearing the Giant Rev helmet, he moved to the front on the final climb and finished the day seventh, moving into seventh in the general classification.
“It was a super-fast and hectic race today and was on from the gun until a break that the peloton was happy with went 60 kilometers,” Storer explained. “The course felt like a rollercoaster but the guys covered the attacks well and then set up Jai [Hindley] , Mike [Teunissen] and myself for the final climb to the finish.”
Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers said his young squad played things to perfection, and Storer was impressive in the final climb. “It was a good day for us,” he said. “We took it easy in the bunch and then we came to the front with Johannes [Frohlinger] doing a perfect job to position Jai, Mike and Michael for the finish. Michael rode really impressively for such a young guy and we’re proud of how the team rode today.”
Stage 3 was an opportunity for the sprinters, and Walscheid made the most of it. The tall German powered his Propel Advanced SL to the win at the end of a 184km race from Scarborough to Richmond. With solid help from his team, the 24-year-old dug deep to stay in contention over two categorized climbs, putting himself in position to contest a hectic finishing sprint.
“I managed to enter the [final] descent in a good spot, which was key because it wasn’t possible to move up afterwards,” said Walscheid, who wore the Giant Pursuit aero road helmet to take the win. “Usually I am best in the flat sprints, so to win a difficult stage is nice for me and shows that I’m developing towards being able to win harder races. After being able to really show my top speed here, I’m looking forward to more nice races through the rest of the season.”
On Sunday’s fourth and final stage, the team worked for Storer, who had another strong ride on a hard day of racing. He finished 10th at the finish in Leeds, which moved him up to spots on the GC to secure a top-5 overall.
“Today was an epic stage with steep climbs and 190 kilometers,” Storer said. “The guys really helped me to be in the best possible position to go for it on the penultimate climb where the race ended up being decided.”