Tour du Haut Var, Stage 1: Gilbert Third21. February 2015 — Road Team
BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert finished third Saturday on the opening stage of the Tour du Haut Var as Ben Gastauer (AG2R La Mondiale) soloed to the win in cold and rainy conditions. (©Tim De Waele/TDWsport)
Gilbert rode to his best result of the season, finishing behind Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), who won the field sprint seven seconds after the race winner. Gastauer had been part of the day's five-man breakaway before going on the attack in the final 15 kilometers of the 164.6-km race.
"I was feeling OK today in very difficult conditions," Gilbert said. "Manuel Senni and Rick Zabel were pulling to try to control the breakaway, always keeping it at three minutes. But we did not get help until late in the race. Plus, there was not a lot of information about the gap. So it was not easy to know what to do. Sometimes we went 20 kilometers without any information."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said better weather is forecast for Sunday's final stage, a 194.7-km race featuring another hilly profile.
"Today was a very hard day for the riders with it being very cold, with wind and raining the entire time," he said. "Fortunately, tomorrow it will be better."