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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, April 27, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

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Digital Swiss 5 stage five team reports

We posted the report from winner Rohan Dennis' Team INEOS with the results.

Second-place Nicholas Roche's Team Sunweb posted this report:

The final day of racing at the Digital Swiss 5 saw the peloton faced with a difficult day in the virtual Swiss mountains. Climbing from the gun the pace was high and riders were soon spread out all over the mountain.

Continuing the rich vein of form that the team had showed in the previous four days; Chris Hamilton, Jai Hindley and Nicholas Roche were all to the fore on the opening slopes. Cresting the first climb of the day all three riders were well positioned in the top ten and on the descent they made movements further up the order.

Roche was hot on the tail of Race 1 winner Dennis and the two riders entered battle yet again on the final climb. Despite closing in on Dennis in the finale, Roche was unable to topple him, having to settle for a brilliant and hard-fought second place on the line. Behind, Hamilton showed that he measured his effort perfectly, taking his third fourth place finish of the week while series debutant Hindley claimed a very respectable sixth place finish.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis wins the final stage.

Second place on the day Roche said: “I can’t say that I enjoyed it although I did; I’m sure a lot of the other guys in the bunch will recognise that feeling. It was fun. It was good to support the team and the sponsors in these events and really commit and give it my all. Rohan was always going to be the hardest man to beat. Today I really felt the last two races as well, I dug a lot deeper than the other days. I think it was a good effort from the whole team over the five races and it was good to see everyone commit.”

After making his debut, Hindley had this to say: “That was pretty cooked, I’m pretty buckled now. It was hard. I knew Nicholas was the guy to watch all day as he’s been super consistent all week so I just tried to stick around him. It was basically just an hour full gas in the end.”

Fifth-place Max Schachmann's Bora-hansgrohe squad posted this report:

Immediately following the commencement of the fifth and final Digital Swiss 5 race in Camperio, the riders had to tackle the Lukmanier Pass. After about 15 km of uphill roads, a similarly long descent followed until, after 36 kilometres, they eventually crossed the finish line in Dissentis-Sedrun. Immediately after Matteo Fabbro, Ide Schelling and Maximilian Schachmann had left the start line, the German champion set off in pursuit of R. Dennis for quite a considerable length of time.

In the second half of the race, the German BORA-hansgrohe rider was involved in a neck-and-neck battle against J. Vingegaard, from which the Dane ultimately prevailed, relegating Max to fourth place at the time. Over the final few kilometres, he was still overtaken by a chaser, but after a strong performance in the saddle, he kept pushing the pace to ultimately cross the finish line in fifth position.

From the Finish Line:
"I amazed myself with how long and hard I was able to ride on the trainer today, to the extent that I think this could very well have been my best recent power output on a smart trainer. I thought I was well prepared, and had a fan for ventilation, but I still found myself overheating slightly by the halfway point. This was my first online race, so I didn't have much experience there. Nevertheless, I’m happy with what I achieved today." - Maximilian Schachmann 

"Max rode a good race from the start. He put in quite a solid performance, just as we had planned. He held a constant tempo throughout the whole race, and was able to place himself within the top 3 right from the start, then fluctuate between the top 3 and top 5 thereafter. In the end, he managed to come away with 5th place. From my point of view, everything went well and we can be very satisfied with this performance. We now turn our attention to our next season goals. Depending on when racing recommences, Max will continue to prepare himself accordingly. We will now have to see how things progress." - Christian Schrot, Sports Director

And Julian Alaphilippe's Deceuninck-Quick Step team posted this report:

Digital Swiss 5 came to a conclusion Sunday afternoon, when Julian Alaphilippe, João Almeida and Ardèche Classic winner Rémi Cavagna found themselves among the dozens of riders at the start of Race 5, held on a 37.82km-long virtual course from Camperio to Distentis-Sedrun.

Alaphilippe, who raced several events this year – including the Tour Colombia and Paris-Nice – before the season was halted six weeks ago – shared his impressions after the race.

“The effort was so hard, but I gave it my best, although the course was tough and you could feel the pain. It was my first ever virtual race and competing in it on my Tacx home trainer was a nice experience, especially as I could test myself and see how I feel after all these long weeks without racing”, Julian explained. “On the other hand, it’s not the same as on the road, the feeling was completely different and I think you could see that in how things unfolded. But, as I said, at the end of the day it was a useful test.”

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