Dillier Second After Head to Head Sprint in Belgium5. March 2017, Ichtegem (BEL) — Road Team
Even the harsh weather conditions at Dwars door West-Vlaanderen couldn't faze Silvan Dillier as the Swiss rider showed his strength riding out at the front of the race before taking second place behind Joe Van Emden (Lotto-NL Jumbo) in a final duel over the closing kilometers.
After just 30 minutes of racing, the weather conditions had taken their toll on the peloton with four distinct echelons formed. As the field continued to splinter behind them, the front group of 21 riders emerged as the day's early breakaway.
With the peloton regrouped and back in control of the race, the breakaway headed onto the first cobbled section of the day with an advantage of just over a minute before being caught with 90km to go.
Attacks quickly followed and soon, Dillier was part of a six-rider breakaway that was able to distance themselves off the front of the peloton and settle into a lead of around 40 seconds.
Despite the peloton chasing hard and a quick reshuffle at the front of race, Dillier continued to push forward as part of the leading group of nine riders before a burst of acceleration saw him go clear off the front alongside Van Emden.
The duo dug deep, and as they approached the final, 13km local lap, their advantage had extended to 35 seconds over the first chasers. This would prove to be a winning margin as the race eventually came down to a head to head sprint with Dillier narrowly beaten to the line by Van Emden.
Quotes from the Finish Line
"I felt really strong today, and I really wanted to take my chance. I didn't hold anything back, and I was able to go with every move in the end. Van Emden and I were riding well together, but in the end, I think I could have played more of the game going into the final sprint."
"I was already feeling good at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne so now it is all about keeping this shape through the Classics season, and I am feeling really motivated to do that and do my best for the team."
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
"I am super happy with how Silvan Dillier rode today. I think some guys wanted to rider better, but as a team, we rode well. We came into the race wanting to win so, we are a little disappointed in that point of view, but I think Silvan can be really pleased with his performance today. He was in every significant move and showed he is in the right sort of form for this time of year and he can take a lot of confidence from that."
"The weather was really wet and cold, and that created tough conditions at the beginning. We knew it was going to be aggressive and we thought we had the team for it and we did our best. Dillier was clearly strong and motivated today, and we had some good riding from everyone. Martin Elmiger showed his consistent form, Floris Gerts was up there in the final, and Miles Scotson was learning a lot. So, there are lots of positives to take away from today."
Dwars door West-Vlaanderen
One-day race / 203.6km
Top 3: 1. Joe Van Emden (Lotto-NL Jumbo) 2. Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing Team) 3. Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport)