Action-Packed Day of Racing on Tour of Britain Stage 25. September 2016, Kendal (GBR) — Road Team
There was no lack of BMC Racing Team action on Tour of Britain Stage 2 as Loïc Vliegen was part of an early breakaway before Rohan Dennis launched an attack on the day’s final climb to close the gap to the breakaway before finishing just outside the top ten in Kendal.
Almost as soon as the race hit KM 0 a group of 15 riders, including Vliegen, attacked off the front of the peloton and quickly extended an advantage of 5 minutes 20 seconds.
With 100km to go, the peloton had brought their lead down to under one minute and it looked like the group would be caught but as they went onto Whinlatter Pass, the first of day’s categorised climbs, their advantage had risen once again to 1 minute 26 seconds.
As the breakaway headed onto the slopes of the final climb, a wheel change for Vliegen saw him slip off the back of the group before the chase from the peloton started to heat up behind them.
Appropriately named The Struggle, the Category One climb saw the peloton disintegrating along the road as Rohan Dennis launched a strong attack to ride solo across to the remaining breakaway riders.
Eventually the leading group grew to 13 riders and the attacks soon followed with Julian Vermote (Etixx - Quick Step) and Stephen Cummings (Team Dimension Data) able to distance themselves to take first and second place respectively.
A short and sharp climb to the line saw the chasers being forced to dig deep with Dennis crossing the line in 12th place, 1 minute 7 seconds behind the new race leader Vermote.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I could see that there were a lot of guys struggling on that final climb and I knew it was only 4 to 5km long so I thought I might as well just have a crack. I knew it was downhill a lot of the way home from the top so I just gave it everything to the top and hoped I would have a little bit left for the final.”
“The chase wasn’t really organised in the end and I think a lot of eyes were on me to do most of the work because of what I did on the earlier climb but it was a fast rolling section and when Cummings and Vermote got away the bunch started attacking each other really.”
“I am feeling confident and I felt good all day up until the last 10-15km which I think was obvious on that final climb to the line. I think from now I could potentially be marked a little bit so I will have to be smart with how I use my energy and keep looking for opportunities if I am still looking towards the GC and then give it everything on the time trial.”
“It seems like we are seeing more and more that teams are riding aggressively from the start to put riders in the breakaway and then it is up to everyone else to control. Knowing the stage and knowing that that was likely going to happen with the sprinters’ teams leading the GC we knew it would be a good idea for us to be in the break. Loïc was able to get in there and he did well but had a little bit of bad luck with a puncture just before the final climb.”
“Rohan was riding really strong today and was able to bridge across to the remaining breakaway riders but when he got there I’m not sure if they didn’t want to or if it was the case that they couldn’t go at that pace knowing that he was fresh and strong. The chase was united behind the leading group as they knew it would be dangerous to have Rohan up the road and in the end when Cummings and Vermote went off the front Rohan wasn’t able to chase it alone and he lost some time today.”
“Today had everything in there to be a real difficult day and it proved to be that way. The slick roads alone made it a difficult stage. They were narrow and twisting pretty much all day and that as well as the weather meant it was definitely not easy for anyone.”
Tour of Britain
Stage 2: Carlisle - Kendal, 188.2km
Top 3: 1. Julian Vermote (Etixx - Quick Step) 2. Stephen Cummings (Team Dimension Data) 3. Daniel Martin (Etixx - Quick Step)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 12. Rohan Dennis 32. Loïc Vliegen 47. Amaël Moinard
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 12. Rohan Dennis 31. Loïc Vliegen 47. Amaël Moinard
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.