Flèche du Sud Stage 4: Tough Day of Racing in Luxembourg7. May 2016, Echternach (LUX) — Development Team
The longest stage of this year’s Flèche du Sud proved to be one of the toughest as the fast-pace laid down from the start saw the peloton strung out along the road by the time they reached Echternach.
Taylor Eistenhart, Fabian Lienhard, Martin Schäppi and Nathan Van Hooydonck were part of the leading group but 3000m of climbing took it’s toll and with 20 kilometers to go groups of riders were stretched out along the road with Sérgio Sousa (Team Vorarlberg) eventually winning the battle for the line.
Lienhard was BMC Development Team’s first rider across the line today. He finished inside the top twenty and now sits twelfth on the GC.
Reaction from inside the race car
Sport director, Klaas Lodewyck said: “It was a difficult day for us today. Following the crash that cancelled yesterday’s stage, the first 9 kilometers of the day were neutralised but as soon as riders were given the go ahead the pace really picked up.”
“For us it was just one big battle after 50 kilometers of racing today. TJ [Taylor], Fabian, Martin and Nathan were all in the front group but then they noticed that TJ, who was our main rider for GC today, had a flat tyre. [Martin] Schäppi was a real gentleman and gave his wheel to TJ to help him get back on the bike as fast as possible but the pace was so fast today that they couldn’t ride back to the group.”
“Fabian and Nathan were still out in front and were pushing it to the limit but then at the end it was a really tough, hard climb and they weren’t able to follow the attacks today.”
Lukas Spengler had to stop racing today due to illness.
Dr Major said: “Lukas was experiencing some stomach issues during today’s stage. He found himself struggling to ride well and eventually had to stop racing. Lukas shouldn't need to take anytime of the bike and will be able to continue with his current racing schedule."
Flèche du Sud (UCI 2.2)
Stage 1: Rosport > Echternach, 157.3km
Top 3: 1. Sérgio Sousa (Team Vorarlberg) 2. Serge Dewortelaer (Team Differdange - Losch) 3. Christian Mager (Team Stölting)