The team’s first foray into Luxembourg was an immensely successful one, with Robin Carpenter winning the best climber’s competition in the SKODA-Tour de Luxembourg. The UCI 2.HC race attracted the world’s top Professional Continental teams and featured beautiful, rolling terrain during the five days of racing.
The road to the purple KOM jersey was far from easy, with Carpenter forcing the breakaway on stage one and winning all three climbs against a motivated group, jumping out of the peloton on stage two to increase his lead, and emptying the tank on stage three to win four climbs and cement his title.
“As I crossed the finish line today I was relieved,” said Carpenter. “I went pretty deep on stage three and I was really feeling the effort at the start. It was a tough day.”
Carpenter is no stranger to the European podium, already having won the sprint jersey in Murcia and the KOM in La Roue Tourangelle earlier this season as well as the KOM competition at last year’s Deutschland Tour.
“For me, the objective is always a stage win but the KOM competition is a nice bonus,” he added.
The nation of Luxembourg may be smaller than the state of Rhode Island but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty.
“The roads we got to race on in Luxembourg were pristine,” said Carpenter. “Literally every road is a pleasure to ride on so it was quite nice all week. The climbs were not so steep either which favored me significantly.”
During the final stage, Colin Joyce went on the attack early and made it to the finishing circuits before being reeled in by the peloton. The team was not finished there as sprinter Ty Magner lept out of the decimated peloton before the final climb to the line. Magner was caught with 500 meters remaining while Carpenter rolled safely across the line in his breathtaking purple KOM jersey.
Andy Bajadali, a former professional cyclist now turned team director, was happy with what he saw in Luxembourg.
“It was a really solid week of racing for the crew,” said Bajadali. “This was a kick in the pants kind of course and everyone rode well. There are more good things coming soon and the riders’ fitness and motivation are extremely high.”
Next up for the team is the WorldTour ranked Tour de Suisse, the world’s fourth-biggest stage race behind the Grand Tours in Italy, France, and Spain.
Final KOM standings
1 CARPENTER Robin Rally UHC Cycling 36
2 TONELLI Alessandro Bardiani – CSF 17
3 FERNÁNDEZ Delio Delko Marseille Provence 15
4 DE BONDT Dries Corendon – Circus 13
5 SILVA Joaquim W52 / FC Porto 8
6 WEENING Pieter Roompot – Charles 8
7 FINETTO Mauro Delko Marseille Provence 7
8 VLIEGEN Loïc Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team 6
9 REKITA Szymon Leopard Pro Cycling 5
10 PEREZ Anthony Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 5