It was the most difficult stage today of the tour with two mountains of "HC" category. Already yesterday on the first mountain stage the boys of BIKE AID showed that teh cpompetitors have to count with them. Salim Kipkemboi was already 5th out of an 11-person chasing group.
But today the hammer was put down. The stage led over 120 very hard kilometers with mountains partly with 20% gradient. When a bigger group went early, the youngest of of our riders Salim Kipkemboi from Kenya was in and that forced the Dutch pro team "Monkey Town" to take the responsibility to chase.
In the first mountain of the first category Niko Holler then went up with full power and got away at the top of the climb. In the steep and technically difficult downhill he could increase his lead and then went solo to the foot of the next mountain, what was from "HC" categoriy (hardest category). There he was chased back by a group of contenders, but was able to attack again with a strong ride and soloed to the finish. Suliman Kangangi came in with a 4-man chasing group and took 3rd place. Salim Kipkemboi reached the finish at the end of the stage as a strong 7th and made the day truly unforgettable.
Nikodemus Holler now leads the overall ranking and is 13 seconds ahead of his team mate Suleiman Kangangi from Kenya. Salim is in fifth place.
Team BIKE AID now leads also the overall team classification and has a 7 minute gap to the second ranked team.