At the end of the 5-day tour, the team pulled off a remarkable result. For many of the riders it was their first UCI stage race ever.
Right on the first stage, Jasper Pahlke crashed heavily and had to end the race early with a broken collarbone. On a positive note, however, Léo Bouvier took the first of three top ten results for the team at this race in the final sprint.
The following stages on challenging terrain were fast and often hectic in the finale. Pirmin Eisenbarth secured the next top ten finish for BIKE AID with his seventh place on the third stage. But the highlight of the race had to wait until the last stage.
At high speeds, the team made their way through the narrow streets of Évora. 500 meters before the finish, Enzo Decker crashed going more than 50 kp/h, but was only slightly injured. On the last uphill meters over the cobblestones, Pirmin was able to prevail against a reduced peloton and crossed the finish line of his first UCI stage race in third place. The team's enthusiasm about this finish in idyllic Portugal was great. After Adrian Zuger's recent result in Turkey, Pirmin Eisenbarth is the second newcomer from the BIKE AID Development Team to achieve a podium finish in this young season.
Due to the early crash of Jasper Pahlke the start of the Volta ao Alentejo was anything but great. Nevertheless, the riders of BIKE AID showed how well they worked together even as a downsized team. This is quite remarkable, especially since many of the riders rode together for the first time and some of them competed in their first road race.
"We've raced in Portugal as a team a few times in the past. So far, it would have been completely unrealistic to even aim for a podium result here. Therefore, this result makes us very confident for upcoming races this season, especially since we are rebuilding the team and have many riders with us who are gaining their first experience in professional races here," said Matthias Schnapka.
Next up on BIKE AIDs schedule are three tough races against some toptier French teams of the Tour de France. On April 14th they start at Classic Grand Besançon Doubs, directly followed by Tour du Jura and Tour du Doubs. The team from Saarland will be shown live on France TV and Eurosport at these UCI 1.1 races. Furthermore, riders of the Pro Team and the Devo Team will start at their "home race" in Überherrn on Sunday, April 16th.
Pictures by Stefan Brencher