Nikias Arndt heads up this week's team of the week after a taking the first WorldTour one day win of the year at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Leader: Nikias Arndt (Sunweb)
Having made a name for himself as a promising pure sprinter by winning the final stage of the Giro last year, Arndt proved a capable Classics rider too by winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race, the week’s sole WorldTour race.
Despite having dug deep to stay in the select lead group, he had the strength of mind to time his sprint to perfection despite Cameron Meyer’s (Dimension Data) threatening early move, and the legs to come around him in the final few metres and fend off Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott)
Team Captain: Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS)
Van Vleuten had been assigned the role of domestique at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in service of Katrin Garfoot and Amanda Spratt, but upon realising on one of the key climbs that they had both lost pace, took it upon herself to resume leadership.
The change of plan proved successful, as she made the lead group instigated by an attack from Emma Pooley, then won the five-woman sprint at the finish line.
Sprinter: Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
The Colombian blitzed his way to two early wins on both bunch sprints of the Tour de San Juan he competed in. He’d probably have won more, too, had he not switched roles to lead Tom Boonen out for victory on stage two, and had Quick-Step’s rivals managed to catch Max Richeze’s couple of late stage-winning attacks on the last two days of the race.
Climber: Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal)
Bringing his best climbing legs to Mallorca, Wellens pulled-off back-to-back victories on Friday and Saturday. First he took on the hilly finale of the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana with a lone break, flourishing, as he so often does, in the rainy conditions; then at Trofeo Port de Andratx he sprinted up the short finishing climb to defeat the master of such finishes, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Time trialist: Ramunas Navardauskas (Bahrain-Merida)
The rider known as the ‘Honey Badger’ for his fighting spirit won the time trial stage of the Tour de San Juan, marking the first ever win for new team Bahrain-Merida, and the first ever triumph against the clock for Navardauskas (outside of the Lithuanian national championships).
Domestique: Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb)
After winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race, Arndt singled out Wilco Kelderman as a key reason and inspiration for the result. The Dutchman – newly signed by Sunweb for this season – gave a huge turn to pace his leader, in what turned out to be a crucial moment in ensuring Arndt was still in the lead group to sprint for victory.
Domestique: Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors)
He may be a cycling superstar approaching the end of his career with nothing more to prove, but Boonen remains a game team player. He gave a lead-out to Fernando Gaviria for both his stage wins at the Tour de San Juan, also doing some key turns at the front to ensure a break was reeled in for the second, and found time in-between to win a sprint stage of his own.