Deutschland Tour: Double joy for Schachmann in Trier
A brilliant all-round performance of the 24-year-old brought him the stage win and the leader's jersey.
Maximilian Schachmann made it two out of two for Quick-Step Floors at the Deutschland Tour, to the delight of the German fans, who gave him a raucous cheers, as after a ten-year hiatus got to witness another home rider cross the finish line arms aloft at the race created in 1911, at a time when only a handful of other multi-day events were older. Schachmann's victory came in Trier, the country's oldest city, twenty-four hours after teammate Alvaro Hodeg sprinted to his fourth win of 2018, one that landed him the red jersey, which will now go onto the shoulders of Max.
"I had this race marked in the calendar, so to win here, in front of so many fans, it's truly unbelievable! Moving to the top of the general classification is a bonus and it makes me proud to wear the jersey, but I don't want to think of the GC yet, because we still have two tough stages left. Nevertheless, the team is strong and motivated, as you could see on these stages, and we will do everything to defend the jersey", said Max after the aggressive stage 2, which packed four classified climbs.
The race-winning move came on the final hill of the day, Petrisberg, after an action-packed day controlled by Quick-Step Floors, who made sure it all came back together before the bottom of the climb, thanks to the likes of Rémi Cavagna, Iljo Keisse, Jhonatan Narvaez and James Knox. Brought by the British neo-pro into a good position, near the front of a strung out peloton, Maximilian Schachmann kept an eye on his opponents and even launched a probing attack, before responding to an acceleration put in by Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) over the top of the short but sharp ascent.
On the descent, the duo established a small margin over the chasing group, from where Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) slipped clear, joining the two with the flamme rouge in sight. Politt was the first to make a move, but Schachmann expertly countered him before lifting himself from the saddle and opening his sprint with 100 meters to go, fending off Mohoric en route to claiming his third victory of the season, after the ones picked up at the Volta a Catalunya and Giro d'Italia.
"The stage was very nervous and several groups tried their luck from afar, with 60 kilometers left. If it hadn't been for my teammates, who contributed to the chase, things could have been really dangerous. When Dumoulin went I knew it was an important move, so I jumped and managed to close the gap pretty fast, while making sure I wouldn't completely empty myself. We worked well together, but then Mohoric and Politt bridged across; knowing the latter would come fast I moved into his slipstream and recovered a bit before launching my sprint. Fortunately, I still had enough to hold off Mohoric and take this beautiful win in my home country", explained Maximilian Schachmann, who also leads the points and youth classification ahead of stage 3, Trier – Merzig (177 kilometers).
Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield/ Getty Images