Top Five Finish for Cras at GP Palio del Recioto18. April 2017, Negrar (ITA) — Development Team
BMC Development Team lined up at their second consecutive race in Italy today (April 18) with Stef Cras securing a top-five finish after a fast run into the line.
After 35km of racing, a group of 22 riders, including Cras, Martin Schäppi and Reto Müller, had extended a 1'40" advantage over the peloton and remained out in front of the rest of the race.
Approaching the final 50km of the day, and with a tough finishing circuit to come, Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) attacked from the leading group alongside Lucas Hamilton (Australian U23 Cycling Team).
The duo began to extend an advantage kilometer by kilometer, and despite multiple riders trying to close the gap, it was ultimately enough to hold off the chasers behind.
Attacks continued to fly off the front of the chasing group as riders pushed on to try and minimize the gap. Steff Cras made a move on the final descent, and after a fast run back into Negrar, he crossed the line in fifth place behind the eventual winner, Powless.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I was feeling really good heading into the race today. I knew from last year that a breakaway could go to the end so, I made an early move, in the first 20km, and soon after we were gone. I tried to save a lot of energy in the breakaway for the final climb as it was very steep and long. Guys started to attack right from the beginning of that, and I made a couple of attacks but I was pulled back by the group. In the end, the two strongest riders on the day went to the finish. I attacked with an Australian rider [Michael Storer] just before the final descent, and we went to the finish together. After today, I think I'm 100% recovered from my injury and now I can focus and keep working hard as I look towards my next goals!”
Sports Director, Jens Blatter:
“It was a hard race today with the cold weather and a lot of climbing. We came into the race looking to place at least two riders in the breakaway and in the end, we had Steff Cras, Martin Schäppi and Reto Müller in the group of around 20. Reto did a great job for his teammates, and he was pulling strong at the front of the group. When the final attack went on the last climb, we weren't able to follow but a fifth place finish for Cras is extremely positive, particularly and after his injury from Normandy. I'm happy for him and I'm happy that the team did well today.”
GP Palio del Recioto
One day race / 143km
Top 3: 1. Neilson Poles (Axeon Hagens Berman) 2. Lucas Hamilton (Australian U23 Cycling Team) 3. Massimo Rosa (Hopplà Petroli Firenze)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 5. Steff Cras 14. Martin Schäppi 21. Patrick Müller