The 26-year-old won today in a mass sprint ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Heinrich Haussler (IAM) on this third stage which ran 196.8 kilometers from Viechtach to Kelheim.
Ciolek took over not only the leader's jersey but also the blue jersey as the leader in the points competition. “That was a perfect sprint after outstanding work by our guys,“ he said. “After the fourth and second places, standing atop the podium is a dream. The Bayern Rundfahrt is the last big tour in Germany. It is something very special that we could get our first yellow jersey here. Many thanks to Qhubeka and our sponsors. We are proud that we can publicise the work Qhubeka does here in Germany.“
As in the first two stages, an escape group dominated the race much of the day. While the peloton took a leisurely pace, three riders sought their luck after only 15 kilometers. Frenchman Biel Kadri of Team AG2R rode for much of the stage in the virtual yellow jersey.. Together with his countryman Jerome Cousin (Europcar) and Spaniard Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), he had a gap of up to seven minutes but the escape came to an end after the sprinter's teams raised the tempo in the last third of the stage and brought about the expected mass sprint in Kelheim.
Team Principal, Douglas Ryder said, “Gerald has once again proven the calibre of rider he is. He proved that Milan Sanremo was not a once off. This is his third victory of the season and the team’s fifth. We have a large contingency of German staff on our team and this race was a big focus for us to spread the Qhubeka message here. This is our first yellow jersey this season and to come at this level of racing, we can’t be happier.“
Saturday sees a 31.2 kilometer time trial in Schierling before the race ends on Sunday after 785.4 kilometers and five stages. The last stage runs 169.8 kilometers from Kelheim to Nürnberg.
Race information: www.bayern-rundfahrt.com
Intern. Bayern-Rundfahrt (Germany) – (May 22-26 / UCI 2.HC): Andreas Stauff (GER), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Jay Thomson (RSA), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Martin Reimer (GER), Meron Russom (ERI), Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Kevin Campbell (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Büffel (Soigneur), Olaf Warko (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Francesco Bonnini (Bus Driver)