After Amanuel Mengis could decrease the gap to the yellow jersey on yesterday’s stage 6, and just had 1:01 behind the goal for today was set pretty clear: “our plan before the stage was to be very active and sitting in the break-away to put most of pressure on the Morrocans again that they have to work in the bunch” Yves Beau, sporting director of Team Stradalli – BIKE AID, said. And also today the team was able to follow the plan as Patrick Lechner broke away in the very beginning of the race together with 5 other riders. The break was riding well together and got a gap of maximum 6 minutes in front of the bunch, led by the riders from Morocco.
At the 2nd KOM of the day the fight for the GC began as Daniel Bichlmann, Joschka Beck and Jean Bosco Nsengimana did a great job for their captain Amanuel Mengis, as they pulled the bunch with a very high tempo that caused again and again trouble to the “man in yellow”.
But also his squad was doing a good job as they brang him back all the time again in the flats. It was a very dramatic day, but the decision was made in the break-away as the Slovakian rider Martin Mahdar attacked in the last steep section of the day and could gain couple of meters in front of the 2 riders left with him, among them Patrick Lechner who was not able to follow anymore. But still this 3rd place means a lot to Patrick and the team: “I am more than happy and proud about today even I really wanted to win this stage. But in the end Martin was the strongest in our group and he deserves the victory. I am also very happy about the teamwork we have here at this race, that is lot of joy for all of us” Patrick Lechner commented his raceday.
Also the 6th place of Amanuel Mengis is again a good success and he still is in a good position in the GC with place 3 and leading the youth classification. We cross our fingers for tomorrow’s 8th and last stage of the race that will bring for sure the decision.
photo credits: Accpac Cyclistes Cameroun