Japan Cup: Rosskopf in the Breakaway and Two Top Ten Finishes22. October 2016, Utsunomiya (JPN) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team kicked off their weekend of racing at the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race with a short and sharp criterium race which saw Joey Rosskopf on the attack at the front of the race and top ten finishes for Taylor Phinney and Fabian Lienhard.
With just 15 laps of a 2.25km circuit to cover there was no lack of action as the peloton raced through the streets of Utsunomiya in front of huge crowds.
Rosskopf was part of a two-rider breakaway with Ben Hill (Attaque Team Gusto) that was able to go clear of the peloton and extend a small lead which they were able to maintain up until the closing laps of the race.
With the race back together going onto the final lap, it looked inevitable that the day’s victory would be contested by a bunch sprint and eventually it was Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory Racing) who proved to be the fastest on the day. He took the win for a second consecutive year ahead of runner-up Jon Aberasturi (Team Ukyo) and Manuele Mori (Lampre - Merida).
Phinney and Lienhard were also in the mix at the business end of the race and were able to accelerate from behind to move through the bunch and finish in fourth and seventh place respectively.
After his efforts in the breakaway, Rosskopf was rewarded with a trip to the podium as he picked up the sprint award.
BMC Racing Team move on to the second part of the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race tomorrow, 23 October.
Quotes from the team car with DS Max Sciandri:
“It was a short criterium race today and you never know what can happen on these races. For the local riders it is a pretty big thing to be racing here and, while every race is important for us, it is the end of the season so crossing the line safely is a key priority for us. That didn't stop the guys from trying through and Joey was looking good in the breakaway and won the sprint award for his efforts. Plus we Taylor and Fabian both up there in the sprint. They both looked like they had good speed and were able to move up positions in the final few hundred meters.”
“With short races like today’s you can’t go into them with too much of a plan but we knew Taylor wanted to see how he could sprint. A short criterium like this is not something that you do everyday so it was definitely a bit of shock to the system but all the guys did good and now we can look ahead to tomorrow and get ready to wrap up 2016.”
Japan Cycling Cup Road Race
One-day race / 38.25km
Top 3: 1. Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory Racing) 2. Jon Aberasturi (Team Ukyo) 3. Manuele Mori (Lampre - Merida)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 4. Taylor Phinney 7. Fabian Lienhard 33. Joey Rosskopf