Haedo storms to second victory in Rund um Köln
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Haedo storms to second victory in Rund um Köln

by Bjorn Haake at 10:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

One day after Fabian Cancellara won the Tour of Flanders, Juan José Haedo delivered another victory to his Saxo Bank team, when he took the sprint in the 198km long Rund um Köln. Haedo jumped out of the Rabobank wheels and answered the challenge of local hero André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) to win his second Rund um Köln, after 2007. Greipel was clearly beaten into second, ahead of the Ceramiche Flaminia pair Enrico Rossi and Daniele Colli.

While a smiling Haedo received the congratulations from his teammates, including his brother Lucas, Greipel looked frustrated. His Columbia team had controlled most of the race and reeled in the final breakaway with about five kilometers to go. "I really have to thank the team for the great job they did," Greipel said, following the race. "We showed we really wanted to win."

Greipel had no teammates left, but was perfectly placed in the final, behind Rabobank and Milram. The same was true for Haedo. "Sometimes it is only small things in fractions of a second that decide who wins and who finishes second," Greipel added. Haedo did everything right and Greipel congratulated the Argentinean immediately after the finish.

The German did have a little complaint, though. "I think it should have been closer in the end. I received a little wave from JJ Haedo and had to skip a couple of pedal strokes." But Greipel still thought Haedo was a deserved winner who did a great sprint.

"I really wanted to give the victory to my team," Greipel said with disappointment in his voice. On the bright side, his recent break from racing has not affected his competitiveness. "I felt well the whole race and I have not noticed any negative impact in my race condition."

German Flanders offers 11 climbs

With the first climb of the day after only four kilometers, a break developed quickly, with Josef Benetseder (Vorarlberg-Corratec), Munoz Pujol (Cervélo TestTeam), Michael Berling (Glud & Marstrand/Lro Radgivning), Gregory Joseph (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Dimitri Claeys (NetApp). Their maximum advantage was five minutes.

Track rider Berling was suited towards the sprints, which sometimes were placed in unusual locations. One intermediate sprint was placed on a company's campus, with the riders having to twist around warehouses and forklifts.

More interesting was the fight for the climber's jersey. The smaller Pujol and the very tall Benetseder battled it out. They were tied on points as the break approached the fifth of 11 climbs, in Sand. There were two sections with a gradient of 18 percent - one at the beginning and one close to the top. This proved to be better for the punchier Pujol.

The gap at this point, after 95km, was two minutes to the Columbia-controlled peloton. The sixth climb, the Bensberg, provided some Tour of Flanders feeling, as the top part was cobbled. Pujol had no interest in another close-up sprint against Benetseder and took off before the climb. This solidified Pujol's lead in the mountains classification.

The Bensberg was too much for Joseph, who fell out of the front group. Milram lent a hand to Columbia's chase efforts behind.

Jonas Schmeiser (Heizomat) and Björn Glasner (Kuota) jumped to the front group with about 80km to go. The next climb at the Ferrenberg was taken by Pujol again, which secured him the mountains competition for good. Benetseder and Berling dropped back to the peloton, which was less than half a minute behind.

After another couple of kilometers, the break was caught. Eric Berthou (Carmiooro - NGC) countered immediately and drew Glasner and Schmeiser with him, as the latter two had not spent enough energy in the previous break yet.

The three hit the Weierberg, the longest climb of the day, with a gap of almost a minute to the bunch. Milram had tried on the previous three climbs to break up the peloton and tried it again at the Weierberg. But Columbia had no interest of a splintering, putting all their hopes on a bunch sprint with André Greipel.

The second time up the 18% climb in Sand, Berthou preceded Glasner and Schmeiser. The Bensberg was also done for the second time and it was the 11th and final rise of the day. Glasner and Berthou made it over the top just ahead of the peloton. Schmeiser was dropped but also made it over the line in front of the bunch.

From the top there were almost 40 flat kilometers left to the finish, which Columbia controlled perfectly. Mostly this was to keep an eye on Vitaliy Popkov (ISD) and Mads Christensen (Glud & Marstrand), who escaped for more than 30km. In the final of three local lap the effort was neutralized.

Results - 198km

1 Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank)
2 André Greipel (HTC-Columbia)
3 Enrico Rossi (Ceramiche Flaminia-Bossini Docce)
4 Daniele Colli (Ceramiche Flaminia-Bossini Docce)
5 Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
6 René Weissinger (Vorarlberg - Corratec)
7 Jure Kocjan (Carmiooro - Ngc)
8 Tim Mertens (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)


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