Max Richeze, runner-up in Eschborn Frankfurt
Etixx – Quick-Step was on the attack in the German race, and was rewarded for its effort with a superb podium place brought by the Argentinean rider.
The 54th edition of Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt was another action-packed one, and Etixx – Quick-Step was in the spotlight from the start, with Niki Terpstra, who went in the early break which counted seven riders. After 60 kilometers, the Dutch champion and Bjorn Thurau (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) attacked from that group and opened a gap of 1:20, but with the peloton coming strong from behind, it was a short-lived move and they were reeled in.
Immediately, Tony Martin surged clear from the bunch and was joined by the young Colombian Daniel Martinez (Southeast-Venezuela). The hilly terrain helped the two get a 45-second advantage over the chasers, which sow panic and forced the sprinters' teams to ride full gas behind. They too were caught, but that only prompted a counterattack of David De La Cruz, who was riding his first race since completing the tough and snowy Liège-Bastogne-Liège and put on a long and sustained effort in order to stay in the lead and force the opponents to take initiative at the head of the pack.
It was all back together with 12 kilometers to go, when CCC Polkowice and Katusha shared duties and led the 40-man peloton at a frantic pace on the flat circuit in Frankfurt. In the last kilometers, Etixx – Quick-Step came again to the forefront to set up the sprint, and although it did an excellent job, had to settle with second place in the end, as Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) proved to be too strong for Maximiliano Richeze. Still, the result of the 33-year-old was a very impressive one, considering he was injured earlier in the season and this was just his 15th day in the saddle since the beginning of 2016. Equally impressive was the the 5th place of Yves Lampaert, who raced for the first time since Tirreno-Adriatico and showed that he's on the right road to his very best.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele