“Of course I am disappointed”, explaines Alexandr Pliuschin. “On the other hand, it is not so bad to finish second behind Tiernan-Locke, who was leading the Europe Tour UCI ranking for a long time this season.”
Tiernan-Locke is indeed not a 'Mister Nobody'. Earlier this season he won the Tour Méditerranéen and the Tour du Haut Var. As the overall winner of the Tour d’Alsace he is the successor of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ - BigMat).
“We had two races in the race”, commented Team Director Markus Zingen. “There was the fight for the stage victory between the riders who were left from an early break, and there was the fight for the overall between our Alexandr Pliuschin and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. In the end Alex could only take back some seconds, but we can look back at at a nice Tour d’Alsace for our team. Everyone performed well and helped Alex from the beginning until the end.”
The sixth and final stage from Ribeauvillé to the top of the Ballon d’Alsace saw an early break of 20 riders with no rider who could threaten the GC - which is also why some eventually weren't caught by the GC riders in the final. The victory on top of the first ever climbed Tour de France Col was for Swiss rider Jonathan Fumeaux (Team Atlas Personal - Jakroo). Team Endura racing controlled the race for Tiernan-Locke.
“There were three more climbs on the course, but it made no sense to attack on those climbs”, explained Marcus Zingen. “In between the climbs there was too much head wind. It would have been suicide to attack that early. That’s why we decided to wait until the final climb. We did not win, but second overall is not so bad either and LEOPARD TREK was one of the most attractive teams of the race.”