Shane Archbold has taken his first professional victory. The BORA-Hansgrohe lead out man turned lead sprinter in stage 2 of the Czech Cycling Tour to take the win ahead of Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Daryl impey and Archbold’s teammate Erik Baška.
186.6km in length, Olomou to Frydek-Místek was a difficult stage to pick and on paper certainly didn’t favour the faster finishers. The route contained five categorised climbs including the 9km Pustevny, but the latter stages of the race flattened out significantly.
Uncharacteristically it was a largely together peloton that made their way through the majority of the stage, with no breakaways being able to go clear. It wasn’t until 40km to go that a group of four riders took off and enjoyed a brief stay at the head of the race. However, BORA-Hansgrohe were hot on their tails and it wasn’t long until the race was back together. With 25km remaining the peloton had the break back in the fold again and it was all on for the sprint.
Typically Shane Archbold plays the role of master lead out man, but this time it was BORA-Hansgrohe who opted to side with the Kiwi, leading out the New Zealander with a powerful train that in the end saw four of the BORA-Hansgrohe team finish inside the top 15. With the support of Christoph Pfingsten, Felix Grosschartner and Erik Baska in his train, Archbold made good his support, sprinting to victory ahead of Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Daryl Impey and Baska, with Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel’s Marijn van den Berg in fourth place and Uno-X’s Anders Skaarseth completing the top five.
The result moved Archbold into the lead in the points classification, 4 ahead of Impey. It is also Archbold’s first professional victory in a five year career that started with BORA-Argon 18 back in 2015.
More to come . . .