Kyle Murphy continued his impressive climbing form by scoring enough points to take the lead in the King of the Mountains classification at the Deutschland Tour. Murphy was part of the breakaway on stage 2 and took maximum points over the day’s first test, the Kyffhäuser Climb.
The American then put in a fierce attack on the Unterpörlitz’s slopes to crest the stage’s final climb in second and ensure he was joint top of the standings on five points.
Speaking after receiving his blue KOM jersey, Murphy said, “It feels great to accomplish something in this race already. The caliber of rider here is quite high as there are a ton of extremely motivated riders on quality teams.”
Conditions in Germany over the past two days have been a far cry from Murphy’s recent successful trips to Portugal. The racing on the other hand, has been no less frenetic.
“This wet, windy, classic style racing I don’t consider my strong suit, so it’s nice to solve the puzzle of how a rider like me can get on the podium in a race like this. Especially ahead of one of the team’s biggest goals, the Tour of Britain.”
The race blew apart on the finishing circuit with attacks coming one after the other. Lone leader Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), who is tied on KOM points with Murphy, was caught in the process which meant that the American had to finish ahead of his classification rival to secure the jersey.
“I saw him come back to the field. He seems like an intelligent and savvy rider so I kept my eye on him. I think he went all in to try and win the stage.”
With the mission to finish ahead of the Alpecin-Fenix rider now apparent, Murphy used the strength of his teammates to carry him to the line.
”The team were helping me on the circuit as the race imploded and the peloton was going full gas. I was pretty destroyed but it was incredibly motivating to have guys look back, see me, and bury themselves to make sure we could secure the jersey.”
In the end, Murphy finished almost two and a half minutes ahead of Vervaeke and 53 seconds behind stage winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates).
Saturday’s stage has two climbs en route, with the first summit coming after only 5.5km.
“Luckily, my race tomorrow should be quite short. It would be very nice to hold onto the jersey for another day at least.”
The team will see to it that Kyle gets his morning coffee in. You can catch all the action from stage 3 of the Deutschland Tour on GCN+ from 9am ET.
Deutschland Tour KOM standings
1 MURPHY Kyle – Rally Cycling 5
2 VERVAEKE Louise – Alpecin-Fenix 5
3 JÄGELER Robert – P&S Metalltechnik 3
4 HUPPERTZ Joshua – Team Lotto – Kern Haus 2
5 VAN DEN BOSSCHE Fabio – Sport Vlaanderen Baloise 1