Crash Ends Dennis’ Chance of Eneco Tour Victory25. September 2016, Geraardsbergen (BEL) — Road Team
An unfortunate crash in the final 50km of Eneco Tour stage 7 saw Rohan Dennis go down and lose his chance of defending his race lead, eventually having to abandon the race.
Dennis started the day with a 16-second lead over teammate Taylor Phinney and 24 seconds over Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep).
When the crash occurred Rohan Dennis was part of a group of General Classification favorites who had just gone off the front of the peloton to chase a 9-rider breakaway.
Dennis went down on his right side and was forced to wait a long time for a new bike as the race cars were coming out of a diverted section.
Phinney and Greg Van Avermaet, who was eighth overall at the stage start, forged on ahead while Joey Rosskopf, Manuel Quinziato, Tom Bohli and Stefan Küng worked hard to try and bring Dennis back to the bunch.
They reached a large group of riders but were already 1’20” down on the race leaders, which proved too big a margin to claw back. Suffering from his crash, Dennis was forced to abandon on the final lap.
Meanwhile ahead different groups of riders attacked while Van Avermaet put in a gutsy chase behind. It came down to a 3-rider sprint for the line, won by Edvald Boasson-Hagen, and Van Avermaet sprinted to fifth place in the group behind.
Van Avermaet moved up into fourth place overall to salvage BMC Racing Team’s day of bad luck after a successful week of racing, which included Dennis’ stage 2 ITT win and the team time trial win.
An update on Dennis’ condition is provided below.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was a really hard day. We were unlucky with the crash of Rohan and with this crash everything blew up a little bit. I was behind him so I also had to catch back some groups. I was also caught behind another crash which killed my chances a bit. I never made it to the first group but I think I took the maximum out of it with what I still had in me at that point. But it was not a good day for us because we had such a good position before the stage. We lost a lot of places but that’s how it is. I did the best I could and to end up fourth on GC is not bad.”
“I didn’t feel great this week but I didn’t feel bad either. Today was a really hard day with the rain and the risks that we had to take, but I’ll just try to recover a little bit before the UCI World Championships which is my last big goal for the season.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“At first we didn’t know that Rohan had crashed as it wasn’t on the radio. We saw a second of it on television but then there was a car diversion so we couldn’t get there quickly. When we arrived we gave him a new bike and the riders were already organized to wait for him. We did our best and we still had Greg Van Avermaet and Taylor Phinney in the front group. Immediately afterwards there was a crash on the downhill and Greg was caught behind. It was at this time that the winning move went from this group. If Greg had been able to stay with them maybe we would have had a chance at the stage win, even if the overall race was lost. Today everything went wrong.”
“When you look at the week as a whole it was still a good week of racing with our two stage wins, but it’s disappointing to see such a good week end like this. We take confidence and good morale out of the team time trial ahead of the UCI WorldChampionships so now we have to move forward and look to this next goal.”
Dr. Dario Spinelli on Rohan Dennis’ condition:
“Rohan Dennis suffered a crash with around 50km to go on the slippery road just after a cobbled section. He went down on his right side and suffered multiple abrasions to his arm and leg. Apart from the cuts and bruises there does not appear to be any other serious injuries and he should be fine after a couple of days’ rest and recovery. We’ll know more in the next two days when we see how he pulls up.”
Eneco Tour (2.UWT)
Stage 7 Bornem > Geraardsbergen (197.2km)
Top 3: Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Team Dimension Data), Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep), Olivier Naesen (IAM Cycling).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 5. Greg Van Avermaet, 33. Taylor Phinney, 55. Manuel Quinziato.
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 4. Greg Van Avermaet, 14. Taylor Phinney, 48. Manuel Quinziato.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.