Binck Bank Tour Opens with a Bunch Sprint in Venray7. August 2017, Venray (NED) — Road Team
Binck Bank Tour got underway today with a traditional sprinters’ stage that saw BMC Racing Team cross the line safely behind the eventual winner, Peter Sagan (Bora - hansgrohe).
Four riders attacked as soon as the flag dropped on stage 1 with their advantage extending to 2’30” inside the opening hour of racing but with a bunch sprint expected, the peloton soon took notice, and the gap was eventually hovering around two minutes.
Heading into the second half of the 169.8km course, the day’s early breakaway saw its lead begin to fall as the main bunch slowly picked up the pace with riders strung out along the road as the gap was brought to within one minute and the chase heated up 40km from the finish.
With two laps of the finishing circuit around Vernay to cover, the peloton continued to let the breakaway hang off the front of the race before the chase was reignited and the peloton had the four leaders in its sights with just 10km to go.
After the race was eventually brought back together, the stage was set for a fast and furious final 3km of racing with the sprinters’ teams battling for position as they looked to give their leader the best chance of victory.
The high-speed run in into the line saw riders spread out along the road before the final sprint was launched with Peter Sagan (Bora - hansgrohe) taking the win in a photo finish ahead of Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) and Magnus Cort Neilsen (ORICA-Scott).
All eight of BMC Racing Team’s riders crossed the line safely after a hectic finish as attention now turns to tomorrow’s 9km time trial.
In the Race Car with Sports Director, Valerio Piva
“We wanted to bring Jempy Drucker into position for the bunch sprint as well as keep Greg Van Avermaet and Stefan Küng safe ahead of the time trial tomorrow. It was not easy to keep position in the end, and the bunch was being controlled by the sprinters’ teams so it was difficult for Jempy to the find the best position to do the sprint. For us, it was a relatively calm day overall really. We finished a little bit back in the group as right now, there is rain forecast for tomorrow, so this might give us a chance to start in the dry, but the main thing was that it was a good way for the guys to warm up ahead of the time trial.”
Binck Bank Tour
Stage 1: Breda > Venray, 169.8km
Top 3: 1. Peter Sagan (Bora - hansgrohe) 2. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) 3. Magnus Cort Neilsen (ORICA-Scott)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 35. Jempy Drucker 86. Loïc Vliegen 131. Nathan Van Hooydonck