Marco Haller (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins the 2022 BEMER Cyclassics in Hamburg.

Marco Haller beats Wout van Aert to snatch the biggest win of his career

Marco Haller out-sprinted Wout van Aert to take a phenomenal BEMER Cyclassic victory after a massive crash robbed the pure sprinters.

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It was meant to be a day for the sprinters. The BEMER Cyclassics – and its various iterations over the years – nearly always is. But against all odds, Marco Haller sprinted to victory at the 2022 edition, beating a small group that included none other than Wout van Aert.

At its last running in 2019, Elia Viviani sprinted to a third consecutive victory at the then-called EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg. Other recent winners include Caleb Ewan, André Greipel, Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb and Arnaud Démare, all from a bunch sprint. In the race’s short 25-year history, the winner has come from the bunch on 16 occasions, with solo champions taking four and small groups of two or more now claiming five.

With Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) newly resplendent in the European champion’s jersey and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) still on the hunt for redemption among many other big names, a bunch sprint was a dead cert, but at the end of the 204.7-kilometre WorldTour one-day, the win was fought over by a strong number of opportunists.

The five-man group was able to take advantage of a fractured peloton late in the German race, whose script was flipped when a massive crash wiped across the width of the bunch, knocking several big favourites out of contention including Jakobsen and Ewan.

Bora-Hansgrohe was one of the more aggressive teams in the finale, with Ide Schelling getting a gap with eventual winner Haller and Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates). But it was Wout van Aert’s attack on the Waseberg climb that set the finale in motion. The former Belgian national champion, now disguised in a Jumbo-Visma jersey, was joined by Haller and Patrick Konrad of Bora-Hansgrohe, Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers) with less than 20 km left to race.

What remained of the peloton did a good job of rallying after the wipeout, bringing the escape’s gap to around 20 seconds, but their advantage still held firm a few kilometres from the line.

It seemed inevitable that attacks would fly among the slightly mismatched lead group, but no one made any concerted efforts under the flamme rouge. With Konrad leading the way, Van Aert seemed content to rely on his sprint, but he was out-foxed and out-punched by Haller, who beat the Belgian in a sprint the latter would surely win nine out of ten times.

It’s a huge victory for the Austrian who spends the vast majority of his time working for others. He has, however, been able to go for his own opportunities since pulling on a Bora-Hansgrohe jersey at the beginning of 2022. Sunday’s result in Hamburg is his second win of the season after taking stage 4 of the Tour of Norway in May, and before that, his last result was a national championship title in 2015.

BEMER Cyclassics (1.UWT) Hamburg → Hamburg

HALLER Marco BORA - hansgrohe
VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma
HERMANS Quinten Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
NARVÁEZ Jhonatan INEOS Grenadiers
KONRAD Patrick BORA - hansgrohe
PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Deceuninck
BAUHAUS Phil Bahrain - Victorious
HOFSTETTER Hugo Team Arkéa Samsic
KANTER Max Movistar Team
KRISTOFF Alexander Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux

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