The third stage of Bayern Rundfahrt ended with a field sprint, and once again, Allan Davis was at the pointy end of the race to give Orica-GreenEDGE its best finish.
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) landed his second stage win ahead of Yauheni Hutarovic (FDJ-Big Mat) and John Degenkold (Argos-Shimano). Davis sprinted to fifth after losing Baden Cooke’s wheel in the finale.
“We took the race by the horn and did everything we could for the stage win,” said Cooke. “In those hectic finals, it gets a bit crazy, and it didn’t work out today.”
A crash in the first kilometer made for a chaotic start. Stuart O’Grady went down when he was unable to avoid a rider who had crashed in front of him.
“The race slowed a bit to wait for the guys who had crashed,” said Cooke. “Once they made their way back, it was full gas. It was a tough day with cross/headwinds the entire stage.”
A four rider escape group established a four minute advantage before the ten kilometer mark. Twenty kilometers later, they had nearly ten minutes over the bunch. Orica-GreenEDGE came to the front to contribute to the chase.
“It was a fairly strong break,” noted Cooke. “We got some dodgy time checks towards the end of the race. We were bringing them back nicely, so we were surprised to suddenly hear they had three minutes in the final ten kilometers when had expected them to be around a minute ahead of us.”
Although caught off guard to learn the break had maintained a bigger advantage than anticipated, the field successfully reeled in the move three kilometers before the finish.
“The finish was extremely windy, narrow and technical,” Cooke said. “There were a lot of corners. It made it hectic and hard to get organized. We managed to get ourselves on the front, but our train was broken up a bit. We couldn’t do the same lead out we had done on the first day.”
Cooke managed to get Davis on his wheel in the last kilometers.
“I took over the front in the last 500 meters,” he explained. “Through the last corner, Degenkolb knocked Allan off my wheel. Allan was boxed in at the finish. He did the best he could in the sprint.”
The five day German Tour continues with a time trial tomorrow ahead of the flat, final road stage on Sunday.
“I reckon that Sunday will suit us,” said Cooke. “I’m not sure that we have anyone to make a big result tomorrow, so we’ll concentrate on the last day – one last chance for the sprint.”