Patience was integral to Riley Sheehan’s third-placed finish at Eschborn – Frankfurt on Wednesday, where the American neo-pro recorded his best result of 2024 to date.

First, having been dropped on the third and final ascent of the Mammolshain climb a little under 40 kilometers from the finish, Sheehan eventually made his way back into the reduced peloton that contested for the victory.

However, the American then had to fight his way to a clear run at the finish line. He did so, impressively, gaining enough ground to claim the final podium position. Given his belated finish line speed, both the winner Maxim Van Gils (LTD) and runner-up Alex Aranburu (MOV) are likely glad that Sheehan was boxed in until late on.

“The team was able to put me in perfect position at the key points and I just had to fight as much as possible,” he says. “Luckily I had Derek to help me out and cover the moves.

“It was quite hard – I was dropped on the final climb. I kept the pace high and was able to work with a few others to close a 45-second gap heading towards the final circuit.

“I was a little bit boxed in at the end, but I had the legs to come up for the podium at the right time. It was nice to have the opportunity to sprint for the win there, I came up with a lot of speed. I’m really happy.”

A sleepy start to the race – three breakaway riders were allowed a gap of over seven minutes inside of 30 kilometers – belied what was in store for the second half of the 200-kilometer race.

The double-shot of the Mammolshain (second time up) and Feldberg climbs in the space of 11 kilometers led to the final escapee being caught by a significantly reduced peloton with over two hours of racing to go.

Sheehan and teammate Derek Gee continued to ride attentively throughout, monitoring the action without expending too much energy as speculative, short-lived attacks were happening.

Thankfully, Sheehan’s troubles were short-lived, and he was able to rejoin the peloton on the approach into Frankfurt city center.

Gee then used his pursuiting expertise to produce a huge turn that ultimately reeled in lone leader Jan Christen (UAD) a little under three kilometers from the finish line.

Reflecting on the team’s first race day in Germany this year, Sheehan adds: “I want to come to Germany more often if the weather is like this! It was awesome with the crowds along the whole course – I needed them because I was suffering today. Hearing their voices and their sounds deafened out my pain, which was great!”