Two Top Ten Finishes in Spain and Norway1. September 2016, Bilbao (ESP) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team was in action on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana and stage 2 of the Tour des Fjords. Read what went down at both races below.
Dillier Ninth in Reduced Bunch Sprint
Stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana looked like a stage for a breakaway or the better climbers on paper, but it was a bunch sprint that played out in Bilbao where Silvan Dillier crossed the line in ninth place.
In keeping with the last stages, it took more than one hour for the breakaway to go away. Darwin Atapuma made it in the day’s break of seven riders which eventually gained a 2-3-minute lead.
With 100km to go Atapuma crashed on a descent, also requiring a bike change, and lost 40 seconds on the breakaway. He was quickly pulled back by the peloton who increased their pace to bring the race back together.
The breakaway was caught 15km before the line which set the stage for last-minute attacks and the eventual bunch sprint won by Jens Keukeleire (Orica BikeExchange).
Atapuma was taken to hospital for X-Rays following his crash and an update is provided below.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“Actually I’m pretty happy with how my legs for the road have come back again after the trip to the track for the Olympics. It’s getting better and better each day and normally I should do better in a sprint like this but I’m just happy that I’m up there now. It always gets a little more tactical when you don’t have so many teammates up there. Every team was there with only two or three riders so then it’s about trying to attack, and you just have to be smart and take the good wheel that will put you in a good position for the sprint. I think that this Vuelta is probably a little bit out of control because we fight for one or two hours until the good breakaway goes so normally I will target stages where the breakaway can go to the finish but as I said it’s a little bit out of control so I will try every day but we will see if I make it or not.
Medical Update on Darwin Atapuma - Dr. Daniele Zaccaria
"Darwin was taken to the Hospital Universitario Basurto after his crash on satge 12 of the Vuelta a Espana. He had X-Rays taken of his right elbow which was the point of impact and the point of pain from the crash. Fortunately the X-Rays showed no fracture. Darwin lost a lot of skin and it will be painful for a while, but we have no doubts that he'll be back racing on stage 13 tomorrow. We will continue to monitor his injury for the remainder of the race."
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 12: Los Corrales de Buelna > Bilbao (193.2km)
Top 3: Jens Keukeleire (Orica BikeExchange), Maxime Bouet (Etixx QuickStep), Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 9. Silvan Dillier, 14. Ben Hermans, 28. Samuel Sánchez
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 10. Samuel Sánchez, 17. Darwin Atapuma, 20. Ben Hermans
Second Top Ten Finish for Caruso in Norway
Damiano Caruso scored his second top ten finish in Norway on Tour des Fjords Stage 2 as he found himself battling it out at the business end of the day's bunch sprint eventually crossing the line in eighth place.
Early into Stage 2 the peloton found itself spread out across the road after descending 260 meters below sea level through the Bømlafjord Tunnel.
The race quickly came back together and after 60km of racing an eight-rider breakaway had extended an advantage over the peloton which eventually rose to five minutes.
BMC Racing Team were active at the front of the peloton for most of the day with stagiaire Fabian Lienhard pulling hard to help bring the breakaway's lead down to inside one minute before a group of riders including Damiano Caruso attacked with 20km and were able to bridge the gap to the race leaders.
The race came back together with 10km to go and despite attacks off the front of the peloton, including one from Michael Schär, today's stage win came down to a final bunch sprint for the line won by Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha).
Quotes from the Finish Line
"Today was another demanding day because of the rain and the also the climbs on the day's program. We knew our big chance was 20km before the line where there was a climb where could try and drop the sprinters. Fabian Lienhard and Floris Gerts did a super job to help bring the breakaway back and then I attacked early on the climb. I was in a group of 8 riders but unfortunately we found no harmony to make it to the line. The peloton eventually caught us and I went for the sprint. Joey Rosskopf did an impressive ride to bring me and Schär to the last kilometer. Then Schär delivered me into the sprint at 200m to go. I gave everything that I had left for the sprint but perhaps I spent too much energy in my breakaway as my sprint was not so explosive."
"We have one plan at this race and that's to race aggressively. With 20 kilometers to go it it seemed like the perfect time to attack and Damiano had good legs and did an excellent job there but with 40 to 50 riders chasing hard behind it was going to hard to stay out front."
"The race doesn't finish until we cross the line on Sunday and we will keep trying right up until that point. It was a long day today and the pace was very fast at the beginning but for sure the guys are looking strong and I trust that they will continue to give it everything. Tomorrow is a hard stage and we will take each moment as it comes."
Tour des Fjords
Stage 2: Stord > Odda (202.3km)
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) 2. Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling) 3. Nikolai Trusov (Tinkoff)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Damiano Caruso 23. Michael Schär 26. Joey Rosskopf
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 10. Joey Rosskopf, 13. Damiano Caruso, 19. Michael Schär
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.