Team Sunweb completed the final race of the 2017 UCI WorldTour in top form, scoring two podium finishes at the Tour of Guangxi stage race in China. Sprinter Max Walscheid led the way for the squad at the six-day race, which started in the seaside city of Beihai and traveled north to its finish in Guilin.
Walscheid came close to winning on two occasions, finishing second in Stages 2 and 3 while riding his Propel Advanced SL team bike and wearing the Giant Rivet aero road helmet. Stage 2 was a 156km race from Qinzhou to Nanning that was filled with attacks throughout the day. After a three-man breakaway was caught in the final 4km, Team Sunweb set up Walscheid for the finishing sprint.
“Today was a really fast final,” Walscheid said. “We were together with three kilometers go to and I still had Michael [Matthews] and Mike [Teunissen] in front of me as we got closer to the finish. With two to go it got pretty messy and I became boxed in and wasn’t able to follow them but I stayed calm and managed to find a gap on the left side. I followed the right wheel and came really close.”
The next day Walscheid was again in the mix at the end, and again finished second. Stage 3 featured four laps of a 31km circuit, with an intense bunch sprint at the finish.
In addition to Walscheid’s strong sprint finishes, Teunissen showed his strength in the mountains. The 24-year-old Dutchman, who was the Under-23 cyclocross world champion in 2013, finished the 212km Stage 5 in fourth place.
The Tour of Guangxi marked the conclusion of the 2017 UCI WorldTour, composed of 37 top professional events throughout the season. Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin was the team’s top WorldTour finisher, at third overall for the season. Australian Michael Matthews also cracked the top-10, finishing ninth in the final rankings.