Thrilling Day of Racing for BMC Racing Team23. March 2016, La Molina (ESP) / Waregem (BEL) — Road Team
It was an action-packed day of racing in Spain and Belgium today as BMC Racing Team lined up for stage 3 of Volta Catalunya and Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Fourth and Fifth on Summit Finish
Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte had the chance to team up on the climbs for the first time today in what was the first of the stages for the General Classification contenders.
It was a tough stage with four category 1 climbs including a double ascent of La Molina. It was on the final climb that the breakaway was caught and the attacks started coming in all directions.
The summit finish on La Molina saw van Garderen cross the line in fourth place and Porte in fifth place, behind stage winner and new race leader Daniel Martin (Etixx Quick-Step).
“I wish I had a bit more response in my legs to get directly of Martin’s wheel when he went, but instead I had to slowly claw back and it cost a bit of energy. It was a good finish and both Richie and I were up there,” van Garderen said after the stage.
“It was fast all day but it was a good effort for Tejay and I. It’s not up to us to make the race tomorrow. We’re in a good position now so we’ll see what happens.” Porte explained.
Van Garderen now sits in fourth place on GC, 12 seconds behind Martin and Porte in fifth place, 19 seconds behind.
Stage 4 tomorrow sees the peloton stay in the mountains and will be play a big role in determining the GC standings.
Van Avermaet Just Misses Out at Dwars door Vlaanderen
It was a case of 200m too long for Greg Van Avermaet at Dwars door Vlaanderen, the 200km semi-classic in the Flemish Ardennes, where he narrowly missed out on the win.
A breakaway spent much of the day away before being chased down by a small group which included Loïc Vliegen. The peloton eventually came back together as they stormed home towards the finish line.
Van Avermaet attacked with 9km to go to build a 10 second lead on the peloton. He looked set to hold on before eventually being caught 200m before the line by the fast-approaching peloton. Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) took the win ahead of Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) was third.
“The team did really well. Loïc was always up there at the front and he did a really good job of protecting me, so that I could conserve some energy. I chose my moment with 9km to go and just didn’t make it. With 200m to go everybody came over me and the race was over,” Van Avermaet said.
Van Avermaet said yesterday’s attacks in Brussels gave extra motivation to ride well.
“It was a special day for us with what happened yesterday. Every Belgian guy was really motivated to try to show that we have to fight against it. I was hoping to win on a day like that.”
“I feel pretty confident for the next two races. E3 Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem are even more important than today so I hope to recover well and hopefully win.”
Michael Schär was involved in a crash which forced him to abandon the race. BMC Racing Team doctor Dario Spinelli gave the following update.
“Michael has a contusion on his right shoulder and is a little banged up. He is set to race at E3 Harelbeke on Friday so we evaluate his condition again tomorrow before we decide whether he is fit to race.”
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.
BMC Racing Team Audio Line
Listen to comments on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.