Juan José Lobato returned to competition with a bang on Wednesday, taking third on stage one of the Bayern Rundfahrt.
The speedy 24-year-old hasn't pinned on a race number since abandoning the Tour de Romandie almost a month ago, but he showed he hasn't only been lying on the couch since then.
Lobato was only beaten to the line in Mülhdorf by Garmin-Sharp's Alex Rasmussen and Sky's Ben Swift, holding off the likes of Gerald Ciolek, Arnaud Démare and Yauheni Hutarovich to claim his fourth top five-placing of the year.
While the stage and the result itself is likely to have satisfied the rider, the hours leading up to the race did everything but.
Lobato arrived in Germany without his luggage, Vueling apparently losing track of it prior to his flight from Seville. His shoes were naturally in the briefcase that went missing, but, at the last minute, he succeeded in getting hold of a pair he could borrow.
His new shoes evidently suited him well, though, and the erstwhile Andalucía rider now looks to be a shoo-in (lame put intended) to mix it up in the sprints for the remainder of the race.
Results (full results here):
- (1, Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Sharp), 4:34:05)
- 3, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
- 41, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
- 52, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 65, Jure Kocjan, 0:16
- 98, Jon Aberasturi, 0:43
- 102, Steffen Radochla, 0:54
- 112, André Schulze, 2:33