Geschke made a late attack from the bunch to finish third on Stage 3 of the Tour of California behind solo winner and escapee Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Ben King (Dimension Data), who he arrived with at the finish in Morgan Hill. Tejay van Garderen maintained the race lead after his EF Education First team otherwise dictated terms from the front of the peloton.
“It was nice for me because it’s my first year in the new team and so far, I’ve only visited the hospitals, unfortunately. I came here to, not really show something but get back into racing and enjoying it. It’s even nicer if I can score a result already,” said Geschke.
The 33-year-old joins CCC this season following 10 years at incarnations of Sunweb where he assisted John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel in sprints, supported Tom Dumoulin to a 2017 Giro d’Italia title triumph, and won a stage of the 2015 Tour de France himself.
“I was just looking for a change in environment and to work with new people because in Sunweb the last few years I didn’t feel that I progressed. I had the feeling it was the right time for a change. Then during the Tour, I had three offers and I chose this team,” he said.
Geschke’s debut with CCC at February’s Vuelta a Murcia was scuppered when he crashed in the closing kilometres of the first stage and broke his right elbow, which required surgery. Motivated to compete at the spring classics, the 33-year-old recovered and returned to racing the next month at the Volta a Catalunya where he met a similar fate.
“I broke eight bones actually,” Geschke recalled. “In mid-February, I broke my elbow on my very first race day. Then on the next race after that injury, in Catalunya on the last stage, I broke seven ribs and my collarbone. It was shit.
“I was a bit devastated and motivation wasn’t good at that point but now it’s the build-up to the Tour de France and you just keep going. That’s what professionals do. Now I hope that’s it for this year, and I can continue to build-up form.”
CCC has no general classification ambitions at the Tour, which should afford Geschke his own opportunities for stage wins if the all-rounder is selected to line-up at the Grand Depart that he is making inroads at here.
“That’s my goal and what I build up to now. The Giro would have been a bit too early after my injury, so the next goal is to make the team for the Tour,” he said. “I think we will send a group of riders that can ride aggressive and I guess I’m one of them. I hope I will be in the Tour team.”
California serves as good preparation for the Tour, especially this year on a mountainous route that features four stages over 200km each.