Moreno Moser claimed the second victory of his neo-pro year with Liquigas-Cannondale, soloing to the win ahead of teammate Dominik Nerz in the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt.
In third was RusVelo's Sergey Firsanov, who completed the podium ahead of fellow escapee Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep). Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the sprint from the field for fifth.
Moser put in a powerful attack in the final kilometer to rack up his second win of the season after the Trofeo Laigueglia.
"I found myself in the ideal situation to try the kind of attack that suits me best, and the good condition I built up over the spring allowed me to get a result out of it," Moser said. The nephew of Italian cycling legend Francesco Moser had the advantage in a four-man breakaway of having his teammate to help with the tactics.
"Along with Nerz, we had a double chance of the win. At the same time, however, we had to be make sure that we weren't taken by surprise. We made the best decision – one would try to get away, while the other would stay on the wheels and look to win the sprint."
Just inside the kilometer to go banner, Moser made his move and found himself soloing to the victory.
"When I went I realised immediately that none of the others were following me. This gave me a lot of morale and it pushed me to keep going and not give in. I am very, very happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season and a better start to my pro career than this.
"My acceleration is a weapon that I have and one that I look to take advantage of. I used to do the same thing as an amateur. To use it to get the win, however, you need to understand whether the terrain is suitable and, above all, you need to time it right. And besides, it’s the best way to win and enjoy the feeling of crossing the line with your arms raised."
While Moser's win was impressive, the real surprise of the race was Martin who, just three weeks ago, was hit by a car while training and suffered injuries to his face and shoulder, including a broken jaw. He instigated the attack with 45km remaining in the race, and while he couldn't respond in the final kilometer when Moser went away, he was pleased with his first race back.
"I'm super happy with my race today" Martin said. "Today it wasn't about winning the race but seeing where I am, and, to be honest, I'm a little bit surprised about my performance. It means that I didn't lose too much after the crash, a perfect signal for the upcoming races.
The day's breakaway consisted of Christoph Pfingsten (Germany), Sven Forberger (NSP Ghost) and Björn Schröder (Raiko Stoelting) along with Reto Hollenstein (NetApp), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) and Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen).
The group gained almost three minutes, but split on the brutally steep ascent of the Mammolshainer. Only Pfingsten, Hollenstein, Kushynski and Armee could stay clear while the rest were pulled back into the peloton.
The climb also split the peloton, leaving 11 riders in pursuit of the remaining four ahead. The two groups game together, but on the next passage of the Mammolshainer, there were only eight men able to resist, with the chase behind being led by the Argos-Shimano team of last year's winner John Degenkolb.
The leaders were eventually caught by a much reduced peloton, and it was time for Martin to insist that the race be won by a breakaway, not a sprint. He attacked on the final ascent, and over the course of the 30km run-in, Firsanov, Moser and Nerz came across and worked together with the time trial world champion to stay clear of the chasers.
"In the beginning I was a little bit scared, nervous," Martin said. "Kilometer after kilometer I felt more confident and then it was just a normal race. In the final kilometers I tried to attack. I knew that everybody was waiting for the last climb during the last lap of the circuit. That's why I tried to anticipate and to attack in the second to last climb.
"It was a super sensation riding in the front again," Martin said. "In the final I had no legs but it was normal, it was my first race after four weeks. It was pretty hard in the last hour of racing, you can believe me!"
"Today I had fun," Martin said. "It was nice to race in front of an amazing public who supported me all the time. Even my mother and my friends were here today, on the climb where I attacked. Now I will focus again on training to prepare the next races but with more trust than before."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||4:54:15|
|2||Dominique Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:00:05|
|3||Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Rusvelo|
|4||Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - QuickStep|
|5||Andre Greipel (Ger) National Team Deutschland||0:00:23|
|6||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team|
|7||John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano|
|8||Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp|
|9||Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|10||Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne|
|11||Stefano Agostini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|12||Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|13||Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur - Sojasun|
|14||Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|15||Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team|
|16||Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator|
|17||Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Barracuda|
|18||Jerome Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma - QuickStep|
|19||Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Team Netapp|
|20||Serguei Klimov (Rus) Rusvelo|
|21||Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony|
|22||Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony|
|23||Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team|
|24||Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team|
|25||Maxime Mederel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun|
|26||Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne|
|27||Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|28||Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp|
|28||Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp|
|30||Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rusvelo|
|31||Christian Knees (Ger) Germany|
|32||Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun||0:00:42|
|33||Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano|
|34||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Germany||0:05:23|