Two in the Top Ten at E3 Harelbeke25. March 2016, Harelbeke (BEL) / Valls (ESP) — Road Team
Jempy Drucker and Daniel Oss made the most of the opportunity to lead BMC Racing Team at E3 Harelbeke, finishing in ninth and tenth place respectively.
In the absence of Greg Van Avermaet who was ruled out this morning due to illness, Drucker and Oss showed their strength on the cobbles and battled it out in a bunch sprint between the race favorites to finish 11 seconds behind Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). Ian Stannard (Team Sky) won the bunch sprint to take third place.
It was an unusual feeling for Drucker and Oss to race as team leaders.
“Normally Greg is there but we had the bad news this morning that he couldn’t race. In this instance you have to take your chance and show that you are able to be up there. It’s good also for the team to show this. I think I was the smallest fish in the group but it was nice to prove that I can be up there with the big engines for the next weeks and the coming years,” Drucker said.
“It was different going into the race thinking about myself. You have to think about conserving more energy, you have to think about the final and how you can win. It was a good experience. Sure we missed Greg but we did a good job, a really nice race as Jempy and I were always in front,” Oss confirmed.
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said he is proud of the team’s performance.
“Without Greg as our leader, the guys did a great race. They showed they are ready to be there next to him in the upcoming races. If you look at all of the other riders in the front, they are the favorites for the Classics, so to have Jempy and Daniel in the front is a great result,” Baldato said.
The focus now turns to Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday where it is expected that Van Avermaet will be able to line up. BMC Racing Team’s medical team will continue to monitor Van Avermaet in the coming days and a decision will be made accordingly.
Porte and van Garderen Finish Safely in the Bunch
On what was a fast and hard day on Stage 5 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen crossed the line safely in the bunch to remain in third and fifth overall on the General Classification.
The stage got off to a flying start with the peloton covering 51km in the first hour. Despite numerous attempts, it wasn’t until 65 kilometers to go when an eight-rider breakaway successfully went off the front.
Wouter Poels (Team Sky) attacked in the remaining 15 kilometers to take the solo win. Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Gaetan Bille (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) came home 11 seconds later to round out the top.
“It was slight downhill with a bit of a headwind into the valley so we knew the breakaway was going to take forever to get away. Now that the GC is set, a lot of teams have the same goal. Richie and I were able to stay safe in the final so in the end it was a successful stage. We were looking for a bit of an easier day but in cycling there are no more easy days,” van Garderen explained after the stage.
“It was such a fast day and it didn’t seem like the break was every going to establish. It was a bit of a shame that Dan Martin took a few seconds back in the bonus sprint but that was to be expected. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I think there are a lot of tired bodies out there,” Porte said.
BMC Racing Team continues to lead the team classification, extending the lead over Cannondale who has moved into second place at 1’17.
The peloton faces a longer day tomorrow on Stage 6 with 197.2km from Sant Joan Despí to Vilanova I La Geltrú, including a category 2 climb.
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