Sam Bennett scores second win for NetApp-Endura at Rund um Köln

Team News | 21.04.2014

Team NetApp Endura once again prevailed in the first German classic of the season. Sam Bennett clenched his second victory of the season in a photo finish. The 23-year-old Irish sprinter came in ahead of Barry Markus (Belkin) and local hero Gerald Ciolek (MTN - Qhubeka) in the 98th edition of the Rund um Köln. Bennett, a neo-pro who has been riding for Team NetApp – Endura since the start of the season, can already look back on two wins and six top-ten finishes this season. Jan Barta won Rund um Köln for Team NetApp – Endura already in 2012.


"It was a crazy race, hard terrain with wet conditions made a few crashes and splits. We worked well together all day. The guys did a fantastic job yet again setting me up for the sprint. On the last corner Belkin and Ciolek got in front of me but I was happy because I didn't want to jump first. It was a block headwind. The guys jumped at 200m and I waited until 100m, I was coming fast but I nearly left it too late! Thanks again to the team for the fantastic support,“ comments Sam Bennett after his photo finish victory.

“This was a fantastic win – congratulations to the entire team. It was an offensive, fast race that was ridden at top speeds from the very start. We were always in the picture and up at the front. Our guys implemented our strategy perfectly. We helped to control the finale to prepare a sprint for Sam. Andreas, Michael and Ralf kept up the pace and got Sam into perfect position. Even though it was close, all that matters is that we won. A photo finish win is always something special for a sprinter,” said André Schulze, Sport Director for Team NetApp – Endura, summing up the race. 

The race got off to a very hectic start in rainy conditions. NetApp – Endura always stayed alert and at the front of the field. At the 20 kilometers mark, the field separated and a group of 40 riders was able to build up a lead. There were numerous attacks in the group, which kept the pace of the race very fast. A trio managed to extend the lead to as much as two minutes, but at just the right moment, a large group joined the pursuers before the first climb at the Bensberg castle.  So, halfway into the race 80 riders were keeping the three leaders under control. Because the pursuers picked up the pace on the last two climbs, all of the escapees were caught 35 kilometers before the finish line. In the finale, another trio pulled away to head into the final laps with a bit of a lead. Thanks to the chase launched by the sprinter teams, the field was back together five kilometers before the finish line and the race was decided in a mass sprint.

ResultsRund um Köln
Sam Bennett
Barry Markus
Gerald Ciolek
Jan Barta
Ralf Matzka
Frantisek Padour
Michael Schwarzmann
Andreas Schillinger
Erick Rowsell