Following the German one-day race, Quick-Step Floors continues to top the World Tour standings.
Maximiliano Richeze carried the flag for the team at the 22nd edition of the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg, the only German World Tour event of the season, which once again came down to a bunch sprint, but not before several riders tried their hand on the Waseberg, the iconic climb of the race, with 15.5 kilometers remaining.
A large group established a 25-second lead over the top of the hill and at one point looked capable of keeping the chasers at bay, but the peloton quickly got organized behind and reabsorbed the attackers inside the final three kilometers, just as Mönckebergstraße was nearing.
With the catch being made so late in the race, the bunch sprint turned out to be a disorganized one, with every rider for himself, instead of benefiting from the help of their lead-out trains. Max Richeze, a double stage winner earlier this season at the Vuelta a San Juan, got in the mix for Quick-Step Floors and found a good wheel to launch his sprint; the Argentinean was well-placed for a top-3 finish with 200 meters to go, but his chances of getting onto the podium got ruined after a rival rider touched him, forcing Richeze to slow down.
Once he relaunched his sprint, Max couldn't get in contention for the top places – which were seized by Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) – but still had enough left to finish sixth, the best result in nine years for a South American rider at the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele