Bookwalter Into Fourth Overall At Austria11. July 2015, Innsbruck (AUT) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team's Brent Bookwalter climbed from sixth to fourth overall Saturday at the Tour of Austria by getting into a large breakaway and finishing fourth on the penultimate stage.
Teammate Ben Hermans remains second overall, 1:21 off the lead of Victor De La Parte (Team Vorarlberg) while Bookwalter is 2:13 behind. Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol Cycling Team) won the 124.7-kilometer stage by soloing out of Bookwalter's group, which arrived 57 seconds ahead of the peloton.
"It was really fast and chaotic right from the start," Bookwalter said. "There was a lot of desperation in the peloton because most of the results have been confined to a couple teams and even a couple riders. So I think a lot of guys saw today as their last chance to get some results with the big climbs that are to come tomorrow."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said he saw the potential to move Bookwalter or Dylan Teuns, who was 4:11 off the lead in 11th place overnight, up the overall standings.
"We told the guys this morning there might be a situation like this," Piva said. "The team of the leader is really weak and they were not able to control the attacks. So we told Brent and Dylan to watch for the attacks and to try to jump in."
Bookwalter said it was not an easy day in the breakaway despite a lack of climbing and the short distance.
"It was hard up there being one guy in a group of about 30 because everyone knew I was the best on GC (general classification)," he said. "So they were looking for every chance they could to flick me and get me out of the group and make me work more. I was pretty empty by the end. So I was proud of myself for fighting all the way to the line to take a little time."
The escape group of more than two dozen riders gained a maximum advantage of nearly three minutes before other teams started helping with the chase. Bookwalter said De La Parte's team also received some unexpected assistance.
"Unfortunately, the race is not being officiated to the level that would allow us to capitalize on their weakness," he said. "At one point today, all of his teammates were dropped but the officials didn't barrage them when they came back. They let them come back in the cars."
Sunday's final stage is 184.3 km and includes two first category climbs.
"Tomorrow, I expect something like this again," Piva said. "With Brent close on the GC and with Ben and everybody on our team riding strongly, we will see and try again."
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.