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Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) proved once more that he’s one of the fastest sprinters in the world with victory at Eschborn-Frankfurt.
The 187.4 km race from Eschborn to Frankfurt-am-Main is deceptively lumpy for an event that nearly always ends in a sprint. Germany’s only WorldTour race of the 2021 season headed west and over eight ‘bergs’ before turning back towards Frankfurt and the flat 30 km run-in.
With the early breakaway swept up, Team BikeExchange went on the attack a long way out in an effort to prevent the traditional sprint finish. A 15-strong breakaway escaped, but with the bulk of the climbing already dealt with, they had their work cut out. Though some pre-race favourites had been dropped – namely Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) – the peloton was large and motivated enough to close it down with around 25 km to go.
As they readied themselves for the inevitable bunch gallop, the sprint teams were content to let attackers Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Cristian Scaroni (Gazprom-RusVelo) dangle out front on the flat finishing circuit, finally catching them just inside 10 km to go.
The hotly contested bunch sprint was won convincingly by the on-form Philipsen, while John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) took an emotional second place and four-time winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) finished third.
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