Aggressive Display of Racing From BMC Racing Team on Tour de Yorkshire Stage 35. May 2018, Scarborough (GBR) — Road Team
After being denied the chance to go for the stage win on day one, the sprinters had their fun today but BMC Racing Team didn’t make it easy for them with an aggressive display of racing in the second half of the stage before Greg Van Avermaet sprinted eighth.
The Tour de Yorkshire headed to the seaside town of Scarborough on stage 4 today with the peloton tackling a bumpy 181km course that included two short but sharp categorized climbs one of which, the Côte du Sutton Bank, had an average gradient of 12%.
It was another fast start to the race with the peloton snaking across the road before five riders went clear to form the day’s breakaway, building up an advantage of around 2’30” after just 15km of racing.
From there, race leader Magnus Cort Nielsen’s Astana Pro Team teammates were keeping control of the proceedings and as a result, the gap jumped around that time gap for most of the day.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the second categorized climb, the 1.5km long Côte de Silpho, that the chase really started to heat up with BMC Racing Team driving a hard pace and forcing gaps to form in the bunch as the leaders were pulled back to around one minute with 45km to go.
The reduced peloton was quickly closing in on the breakaway and the catch was made just 15km later before Brent Bookwalter went on the attack as part of a five-rider move inside 20km to go and with the American rider threatening Cort Nielsen’s overall lead, Astana Pro Team were forced to chase.
Despite the race coming down to a bunch sprint, it wasn’t a straightforward run into the finish line, with a couple of punchy climbs to tackle in the closing kilometers of the day before a series of big sweeping bends and a cobbled section along the seafront.
Sylvan Chavanel (Direct Energie) tried a late solo attack and it looked like he might steal the show but with 500m to go, he was swept up by the charging pack with Max Walscheild (Team Sunweb) taking the honors ahead of Cort Nielsen and Jon Aberasturi (Euskadi - Murias).
After an aggressive display of racing from his teammates during the stage, Van Avermaet sprinted to eighth on the line which saw him maintain his second place on the General Classification, 10 seconds back, heading into what should be an exciting final stage.
Bookwalter, who looked strong as he went on the attack in the latter stages of the day, also finished in the first part of the bunch and he heads into stage 4 sixth overall, 27 seconds behind Cort Nielsen.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I think we did a good job today. We made the race hard and we tried to open it up a little bit earlier and I think everyone was doing a great job. It was really hard on the climb and a lot of guys were dropped and then even after that we were in the move with Brent. Bevin also tried something with around 3km to go so overall I think it was a good race for us. We tried as much as possible and now I think we can look forward to tomorrow.”
“It’s a hard race for me as I am just coming back after a break following the Classics. I am pretty good but I am wondering how my body will respond after multiple days of suffering. We will see how it goes. We still have Brent up there on the GC and I think this is the main thing for us as we have two cards to play. It always makes things easier. We have five strong guys for the climbs so we can go in confident but we don’t want to be too crazy tomorrow because it’s a hard day.”
“We’re two guys down now so I think it was the best defense is a good offense sort of thing today. We know we have a strong team on the climbs. We have five strong guys here and while it was a super hilly stage today, we wanted to capitalize on the little bit of difficulty out there.”
“The dream scenario when I went on the attack was a stage win but in reality, it was more about staying committed to our plan. We had Paddy and Danilo up there slaying it after that climb so when your teammates are that committed and a group goes away inside the last 20km you’ve got to be there and that was up to me. It was definitely a long shot but it felt good to be out there and givng it a go. We will definitely see more fireworks tomorrow. It’s a brutal stage. It will be fun.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Before the stage, we said that we weren’t going to jump in the breakaway but we wanted to make sure that there was some pressure on Astana Pro Team. That happened but then we saw multiple teams helping them to go for the sprint which I didn’t understand because I raced here a few years ago and I know how hard it is. From there, we decided to make the race hard and see what was possible.”
“Our plan was working as we were in front with around 35 guys but not all the teams were cooperating with us and we had to save a couple of guys for the final. After that, we made a strong move with Brent and it could have been possible for him to stay away but while it didn’t happen, it was still a good day overall. We are still second on the GC with Greg and Brent moved up a couple of places. Even though tomorrow is the most important day for the GC, we don’t need to panic as the guys look good and we have the moral.”
Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 3: Richmond > Scarborough, 181km
Top 3: 1. Max Walscheild (Team Sunweb) 2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) 3. Jon Aberasturi (Euskadi - Murias)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Greg Van Avermaet 24. Brent Bookwalter 25. Patrick Bevin
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.