25 May 2013

South Africa: Ciolek Wins Stage, Leads in Germany

Gerald Ciolek won not only the third stage but also took over the lead at the International Bayern Rundfahrt on Friday, giving South Africa's Team MTN-Qhubeka its first yellow jersey of the cycling season.

The Milan-San Remo winner took his third win of the season in an exciting sprint finale at the only German professional stage race.

In a mass sprint, the 26-year-old edged out Arnaud Demare of FDJ Heinrich Haussler of IAM to take the honours after 196.8 kilometres, raced from Viechtach to Kelheim.

Points' leader

Besides taking over the leader's jersey, Ciolek also laid claim to the blue jersey as the leader of the points' competition.

"That was a perfect sprint after outstanding work by our guys," he said afterwards.

"After the fourth and second places [in the first two stages], standing atop the podium is a dream.


"The Bayern Rundfahrt is the last big tour in Germany. It is something very special that we could get our first yellow jersey here.

"Many thanks to Qhubeka and our sponsors. We are proud that we can publicise the work Qhubeka does here in Germany."

As in the first two stages, an escape group dominated the race for much of the day. While the peloton adopted a leisurely pace, three riders tried their luck after only 15 kilometres by making a break.

Frenchman Biel Kadri of Team AG2R rode for much of the stage in the virtual yellow jersey. Together with his countryman Jerome Cousin (Europcar) and Spaniard Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), he had a gap of up to seven minutes, but the escape came to an end after the sprinters' teams raised the tempo in the last third of the stage and brought about the expected mass sprint in Kelheim.


MTN-Qhubeka Team Principal, Douglas Ryder commented: "Gerald has once again proven the calibre of rider he is. He proved that Milan-Sanremo was not a once-off. This is his third victory of the season and the team's fifth.

"We have a large contingency of German staff on our team and this race was a big focus for us to spread the Qhubeka message here.

"This is our first yellow jersey this season, and to come at this level of racing, we can't be happier."

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