Sam Bennett has won Eschborn-Frankfurt, one of the most important cycling races in Germany. The Irishman from Bora-Hansgrohe was clearly the strongest in the sprint in Frankfurt. Fernando Gaviria and record holder Alexander Kristoff had to bow their heads, in the sprint the Belgian favorites were not in the piece.
After the cancellation of 2020 and the move to autumn in 2021, Eschborn-Frankfurt, one of the most important races in Germany, took place again on its familiar date: May 1. With a Belgian defending champion, because last year Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) was the fastest man in Frankfurt am Main. And with neopro Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Soudal), another Belgian could lay claim to a nice result.
Also back in the game: Biniam Girmay, the winner of Gent-Wevelgem. The young Eritrean made his return to the peloton after a month of rest in his own country. Girmay, together with team mate and record holder Alexander Kristoff – he has already won this race four times – would aim for a win for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.
Belgians on the attack
The early break was colored by five riders, including two Belgians. Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen) and Johan Meens (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauzen-Wallonie Bruxelles) were joined, among others, by the now 35-year-old Pierre Rolland, who currently works for B&B Hotels-KTM and in the distant past was a two-time stage winner in the Tour de France.
The leading group would cycle a maximum lead of about five minutes. But long before the finish it was already clear that the flight had little chance. Rolland was eventually left alone with more than 75 kilometers to go. The Frenchman was later joined again. Four riders made the crossing, with three Belgians: Jens Reynders returned, also Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Cériel Desal (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauzen-Wallonie Bruxelles) joined, as did the German Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost) .
Expected bunch sprint
That attack attempt was also short-lived. Jens Reynders – who first released again, but then came back – eventually held out the longest, but was picked up again long before the entry into Frankfurt am Main. It came to the expected bunch sprint: Sam Bennett proved supreme. He thus takes his first win since May 7 last year, when he took the third stage in the Tour of the Algarve. A satisfying victory for the German team Bora-Hansgrohe.
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The remaining podium places went to Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Alexander Kristoff, who couldn’t get over Bennett despite a great leadout from Biniam Girmay. With Edward Theuns (sixth), Arnaud De Lie (seventh) and Piet Allegaert (ninth), three Belgians did finish in the top ten, but they were never able to win.