Following a chaotic Stage 9 at the Tour de France, a day when several top contenders lost time due to crashes or mechanical problems on the brutal cobblestone sectors of the unique route that covered much of the Paris-Roubaix course, Team Sunweb rolled into the first rest day in good shape overall. Søren Kragh Andersen leads the young rider’s classification, sitting 11thoverall, and team leader Tom Dumoulin is 15th overall, within striking distance of his key general classification rivals.
Over the first nine days of racing, the team has fought hard and delivered on their daily race plans, finding success while racing on all their Giant bikes including the TCR Advanced SL all-rounder, Propel Advanced SL Disc aero road bike, Trinity Advanced Pro TT for the team time trial, and a special Defy Advanced SL classics bike for Sunday’s Roubaix stage. The team is also riding prototype wheels from Giant that are being developed in partnership with Team Sunweb staff and riders for certain stages.
Dumoulin put in a gutsy performance on the pivotal 156.5km Stage 9 from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix, moving up to 15th in the general classification. Battling dry, dusty cobbletones, headwinds and a frantic pace, the Dutchman was aggressive throughout the dangerous stage, making several attacks to try and gain time on his GC rivals.
The team executed its plan to perfection, with American Chad Haga joining an early break. As the peloton charged through the 15 sectors of pavé, crashes and mechanical problems began to take a toll. Dumoulin, Kragh Andersen and a third teammate Edward Theuns stayed at the front of the main field, with Dumoulin trying several attacks.
“I was one of the strongest GC guys today, and so I hoped for more differences on GC,” said Dumoulin, who wore the Giant Rev helmet for Stage 9. “There was a lot of headwind out there, so it came back together all the time.”
Dumoulin managed to avoid any problems, keeping himself in contention before this week’s critical mountain stages in the Alps. “I didn’t puncture or have any mechanicals,” he said.
Earlier in the week, the team put in a strong team time trial, finishing fifth on their Trinity Advanced Pro TT bikes and wearing Rivet TT helmets. That result helped Kragh Andersen seize the lead in the young rider classification, which he has now held for six days.
After the rest day, the team turns its attention the high Alps. The next three stages will shake out the general classification and shape the outcome of the three-week grand tour.