Giro Valle d’Aosta Stage 1: Three Riders in the Top Ten13. July 2017, Scalaro (ITA) — Development Team
Giro Valle d’Aosta stage 1 saw BMC Development Team in the thick of the action with Patrick Müller riding as part of the day’s breakaway before Pavel Sivakov, Steff Cras and Marc Hirschi finished in the top ten after the first summit showdown of the race.
After a hectic start to the day, which saw Müller part of the initial move, twelve riders eventually joined forces to form the day’s breakaway.
By the time they reached KM 40, of the 172.6km course, the group, which still included Müller, had extended their advantage to just under 4’30” as the rest of BMC Development Team sat comfortably in the bunch.
The peloton regained control heading into the second half of the course, bringing the leading group to within two minutes as the race headed onto the penultimate climb of the day to Castelnuovo Nigra.
Heading over the summit of the climb, with 42km to go, the gap was holding steady, but another injection of pace from the front of the bunch saw the gap begin to fall with the final climb looming on the horizon.
Eventually, on the approach to the brutal 11km climb, which had an average gradient of 9.8%, the race was brought back together, and almost immediately the attacks began with Sivakov and Cras able to follow every move.
Soon, a select group of ten riders, including Sivakov and Cras, was sitting at the head of the race before an attack from Filippo Zaccanti and eventual winner, Giovanni Carboni saw the two Team Colpack riders go clear.
The BMC Development Team duo of Sivakov and Cras continued to chase hard behind and in the end, they crossed the line fourth and eighth respectively behind Carboni who ultimately rode solo over the closing kilometers to take the stage win and move into the leader’s yellow jersey.
Sivakov was able to maintain his second place position on the General Classification, one second back, despite a crash with 40km to go that saw him suffer some abrasions to his right knee. While, Cras now sits sixth, 47 seconds behind.
Hirschi also put in a solid ride on the final climb, finishing tenth to move into the overall lead of the Best Young Rider Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I crashed quite hard on my knee, but I managed to come back and was able to do a pretty good climb. I kept my own pace after the final attack, and in the end, I was catching them. I thought the final would be harder than it was. The last kilometer was flatter than I expected and on the profile, it looked much steeper. I kept a bit of power in my legs and then I saw that it was already the finish. After the crash, I couldn't have given it 100%, but we will see how I go tomorrow. The race is still quite open with less than 50 seconds separating the first six riders on the General Classification.”
“We went really hard into the bottom of the climb, and the peloton split immediately. I was sitting at the front of the group and followed the first attacks, but after 5km, I felt a stitch in my stomach so, I kept my own pace with Pavel Sivakov. He then went a little bit away, and I just stuck to my own rhythm. I think that was the best thing I could do. I am now looking forward to the next few stages as today’s final climb was super steep in parts. I am happy that Pavel did a good job in the end also especially after his crash.”
Giro Valle d’Aosta
Stage 1: Quassolo > Scalaro, 172.8km
Top 3: 1. Giovanni Carboni (Team Colpack) 2. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto - Soudal U23) 3. Michael Storer (Mitchelton Scott)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 4. Pavel Sivakov 7. Steff Cras 10. Marc Hirschi