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First Endurance rider Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia) battled through storms and torrential rain to secure a prestigious victory in the Bayern Rundfahrt, Germany’s leading stage race, on Sunday.  Having taken the race lead when he won Saturday’s time trial, the Belgian all-rounder completed the five-day event twelve seconds ahead of Italy’s Adriano Malori. Slovenia’s Simon Spilak was third overall.  Monfort’s advantage over Malori was narrow, but with strong support from HTC-Columbia, the Belgian national time trial champion came through the final day’s racing well despite the rough weather conditions.

“The last day was a difficult, dangerous stage, with really heavy rain and crosswinds splitting the peloton again and again,” said HTC-Columbia’s sports director Jan Schaffrath.  “It was supposed to be a sprinters’ stage, but instead lots of riders tried to get into breaks from early on and the racing was very fast right from the first kilometre.  Max lost this race last year by just 10 seconds, and this is his first stage race win since 2004, so logically he was a bit nervous at times.  But he rode very well and stayed in the front group at all times despite all the splits, and his team-mates supported him perfectly and made sure everything was under control.”

Whilst Monfort wrapped up the overall victory for HTC-Columbia, team-mate and first year professional Leigh Howard took home the win in the points competition as well.  “It’s been a really good race for us all round,” Schaffrath said. “And as ever, HTC-Columbia’s great teamwork helped make all the difference.”