One second is not very long, but it is enough to make the difference between winning or not, as Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann discovered over the weekend. He finished off the podium Saturday in the Tour of Poland, missing out on third place by one second, but on Sunday he won the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt race by exactly one second.
Wegmann had been fifth overall going into the final stage in Poland, only 15 seconds down. Johan Van Summeren of Predictor-Lotto won the stage from a long solo escape. Wegmann attacked frequently out of the following group, but his competitors wouldn't let him get away. "At least we tried, and showed our competitive spirit," said his older brother and directeur sportif, Christian Wegmann. In the end, Wegmann finished eighth on the stage, two seconds behind third place finisher Kim Kirchen of T-Mobile, who used the bonus seconds to leapfrog from 30th to third place, exactly one second ahead of Wegmann.
Writing on his website, fabianwegmann.de, the 27 year-old said, "Since, as expected, the flat stages didn't lead to a decisive winner, it was clear that on Saturday every second would count. So, like on the previous day, I took part in all the intermediate sprints and won several bonus seconds." It wasn't enough in the end, though.
The German road champion had his next chance the very next day in Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt. The peloton stayed together for most of the race, hauling back any escape attempts in an effort to set up a bunch sprint. However, on the last climb of the last lap of the city course, Wegmann made his break. He got away and stayed away, although his lead at the end was registered as only exactly one second.
"After numerous attacks on the final climb I was finally able to get away and win the 17th Nürnberger Altstadt race, in front of beautiful scenery. That was great, and of course gives me self-confidence for the World Championships, which start in Stuttgart in two weeks," he concluded.