Actually it should be a day without lot of trouble and a little bit more calm as the previous days. That’s what the riders were thinking. But in reality the stage was again very hectic, nervous and fast in the beginning due to lot of attacks. With 158 kilometers and “only” 3 KOM climbs of category 3 it was not a very hard stage, but at the end it’s the riders who make the race hard. And in the Rás there is no real day to rest or to let you hang around in the pack, as you always have to keep the tension and concentration.
Luckily the “joint-venture” of TeamTirol and Stradalli – BIKE AID succeeded after a while to control the race to make it a little more comfortable for their captains as there is a real day of fight waiting for the guys tomorrow.
At the end of the stage Nikodemus Holler could manage to reach the finish again with the other favourites and keep his promising position in the GC with only 10 seconds back on yellow. In the KOM classification he could increase his gap to 18 points to the second position.
“I still feel very good in the climbs and just didn’t want to invest too much today, as tomorrow will be another hard and probably the decisive day for the GC. But it was also important to me, to win another points for the KOM classification, as this jersey is so beautiful and I want to keep that until Dublin”, Nikodemus Holler described his day.
In the morning before the stage there was one bad news the team received: Joschka Beck – important domestique for Niko – couldn’t start the stage as he fell sick and got fever during the night. We wish him all the best!