Demer and Merlier complete the podium
Fabio Jacobson won the European Road Championship in Munich. | Photo: Cor Vos
14.08.2022 | (rsn) – Fabio Jacobsen won the men’s road race at the European Championships in Munich in a blistering sprint for the Netherlands. The 25-year-old won the 207.9km from Murnau to Odeonsplatz, the Bavarian state capital, after excellent preparation work by compatriot Danny van Poppel. The German team had a day to forget: firstly, Pascal Ackermann took a bad fall 46 kilometers before the finish and Phil Bauhaus played no part in the final sprint.
“My driver Danny van Poppel did a great job. I got out of his slipstream and won. I’m very happy to be European champion now,” Jacobsen said after the race. He is the first Dutchman to join Joop Sotemelk since his 1985 victory. Jacobsen, a European or World Championship gold medalist, continued: “Our plan was to go two laps ahead. Then Danny did the rest.
“I chose the right rear wheel, Fabio Jacobsen’s. But he was very strong. I was on his bike but there was still a man in front of him,” said Demare, who finished second, just like in Pluay 2020. However, the French captain was particularly excited about his team’s performance. “The French team did well. Everyone did their best,” said the crowded Belgians, including Demarre said of his assistants, who took the lead in the last lap with full team strength before the other teams moved on in the final, and no leaders in the bronze medal disappointment.
Merlier: “Hey, it’s Jacobsen”
“It hurts. I already had it in my head that I was going to win, which doesn’t happen to me very often,” said Merlier, who opened the sprint but let him pass when asked about his future quick-step teammates Jacobson and Demarre. If he didn’t start too early, the 29-year-old replied: “I thought that question would come up. It might look like it on TV, but it was very busy. It’s usually fatal to start a little early when a fast driver comes into your seat, hey, that’s Jacobsen.” Merlier appreciated.
At first it seemed that the Italian team was in a good position for the final sprint. Azzurri led the field with world time trial champion Filippo Ganna in the final kilometers, but then Elia Viviani’s team fell short. The 2019 European champion ultimately finished seventh.
Merlier opened the sprint, but with Van Poppel in the slipstream, he got the better of his captain Jacobson in the final metres. Just before the finish line, Van Poppel was celebrating with his arms in the air as Jacobson finally won clearly. Van Poppel himself finished fourth ahead of Sam Bennett (Ireland) and Luka Mezgec (Slovenia). Bauhaus was the best German driver in 18th, with Austrian Marco Haller in 19th.
Here’s how the match went:
Bora professional Lukas Postelberger (Austria) and Swiss Sylvain Dillier withdrew soon after the start of the race at Murnau am Staffelsee, but neither received much support. The two held the lead for more than 180km in total, but the maximum lead was more than three minutes, with Postelberger and Deleer not allowing more than two minutes in the second half of the race. In the field, various teams took turns tracking, including Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, the German team with Nico Dens and Nils Pollitt.
After 65 km, the field of riders reached the first finish line at Munich’s Odeonsplatz. Five final laps of 13 kilometers followed. In front of a large crowd of spectators, Postelberger and Dillier continued to hold the lead for almost a minute on the street circuit.
46 kilometers before the finish, the German team suffered a heavy blow: Pascal Ackermann fell to the ground after getting too close to the barrier in the narrow field. The race for the third place in the European Championship twice ended. After that, the German team focused on Bauhaus, the second best German sprinter. In the last 50 km, the Belgians for Merlier and the Norwegians for Alexander Christophe were particularly active in the chase. With 27 kilometers to go, Postilberger and Dillier’s long escape came to an end.
The battle for the best positions for the final sprint then began. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia, Germany – several countries are now fighting for the optimal starting position for the sprint. With ten kilometers to go, the French team particularly stepped up their pace, with Roger Kluge pulling the German team into the lead with seven kilometers to go. With three kilometers to go, Swiss Stefan Bissager made a solo attack, but didn’t get very far. As expected, the decision was made in a sprint.
Giving results FirstCycling.com
Travel fan. Freelance analyst. Proud problem solver. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.