Rosskopf Wins Tour du Limousin after Decisive Final Stage19. August 2016, Limoges (FRA) — Road Team
With only ten seconds separating the top four General Classification riders, Tour du Limousin came down to the wire on Stage 4 with Joey Rosskopf crossing the line in the front group to secure overall victory after leading the race from start to finish.
BMC Racing Team were in control of the race for most of the day and never allowed the advantage of the day's eleven-rider breakaway to reach beyond 3 minutes 30 seconds.
With the final breakaway riders caught going on to the final finishing circuit, attacks from main General Classification contenders could begin including an impressive show of acceleration from Rosskopf with 10 kilometers to go.
Eventually the stage came down to a fast and furious sprint for the line won by Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani - CSF), while Joey Rosskopf finished safely in the bunch behind to finish on top of the General Classification just one second ahead of Colbrelli.
Winner's Interview with Joey Rosskopf
Congratulations, Joey! Can you explain how you felt crossing the finish line?
"I feel super good! I would have been really disappointed if I had lost the GC today but that didn't happen so I feel fantastic."
It was so close at the top of the General Classification going into today's stage, were you feeling confident that you could win?
"I was confident that it would come down to a sprint. I was not super worried about second and third on GC as I knew I could mark them but the biggest threat was definitely Colbrelli. All he needed other than the win was for a one second time gap to open up at the field sprint which could have easily happened but I gave it my all to stay up there and in the end I was able to win the race. It was definitely super close."
You have praised the work of your BMC Racing Team teammates this week, can you describe what that means to you?
"It has been an incredible experience. There is not a better display of cycling as a team sport than what we did over the last three days defending the jersey. Cycling might look like an individual sport but it isn't. I mean, I won the race but I wouldn't have been able to do that without the support of such a strong team"
And looking ahead, how do you feel about the rest of the season?
"This win gives me a lot of confidence. I was already really happy with how I was riding going to Tour of Utah and I am really happy that I could keep that form going here and make the most of it."
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart said:
"We were pretty certain it would be a bunch sprint today as there was handful of teams who thought they could win the stage. We were nervous about the time bonuses and as we knew Colbrelli could win the stage and if he wanted to take GC he probably could get that too."
"We did all the work to defend early on and then got some help in the final before some pretty big attacks. It finally came down to a field sprint and we knew that we couldn't let gaps form."
"The team did an amazing job. It's been really nice to see the team come together. This was a smaller race, a different kind of race for us so we just came into the race looking for opportunities and Joey took a great one right at the start. For me, it was really impressive how he won the race as after the first stage he only lost time on the GC due to the time bonus."
Tour du Limousin
Stage 4: Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat - Limoges, 185.3km
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani - CSF) 2. Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec) 3. Romain Feillu (HP BTP - Auber93)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 12. Joey Rosskopf 48. Alessandro de Marchi 110. Rick Zabel
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 1. Joey Rosskopf 32. Alessandro de Marchi 65. Rick Zabel