BMC Development Team on the Attack at Memorial Van Coningsloo4. June 2017, Bonheiden (BEL) — Development Team
After a week off racing, BMC Development Team returned to the start line with Pascal Eenkhoorn and Jasper Philipsen on the attack as part of the day’s breakaway before a nail-biting finish saw Yves Coolen (Home Solution-Anmapa-Soenens) take the day’s honors.
It was a battle to get into the breakaway at Memorial Van Coningsloo with attack after attack being shut down by the peloton. Callum Scotson, Eenkhoorn, and Philipsen were all part of early moves, but it wasn’t until over 30km, of the 182.8km course, that a group was able to begin to build an advantage.
With all teams wanting to be represented at the front of the race, the group eventually grew to around twenty riders, including Eenkhoorn and Philipsen. For a moment, it looked like the breakaway’s advantage was destined to settle at around one minute however as they entered the final 70km of the day, the group was over 2’40” ahead of the rest of the field.
Sensing that this group was set to make it to the line, another large group of riders, which included Mario Spengler, split off the front of the bunch and began to cut into the lead of the breakaway.
By the time the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap around Bonheiden, just 30 seconds separated the two groups, and eventually, they joined forces with only 2km remaining.
At this moment, Eenkhoorn launched an impressive solo attack off the front of the group and began to build up a narrow advantage as the race headed onto the home straight. However, with the size of the chasing group behind he was ultimately caught in a nail-biting race towards the finish line.
There was more bad luck for BMC Development Team behind with a late wheel change forcing Philipsen to lose contact with the lead group.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"After a big block of training ahead of the Giro d'Italia U23, I was not feeling super fresh coming into this race, but it was definitely a good test ahead of going to Italy. It was a long race, but the pace was really fast due to the flat profile of the course. I tried a couple of times at the beginning of the race to try and jump into the breakaway."
"When the breakaway went clear, we weren't working that well together, but it was fine. On the local laps, which included one cobbled section, I was not feeling too great as we had spent 130km in the breakaway. We wanted to try and set up a sprint for Jasper Philipsen, so it was a pity he got a flat. I decided to go for it with just over 1km to go. It was a pretty straight road, but there was a bit of a headwind, so I really had to go full gas. In the end, they caught me which was a bit of a shame, but you never know if you don't try."
"It was a pretty good race. I felt super good today. I jumped into the breakaway but I needed to go full gas, and I felt it in my legs a little after that. On the last two laps, I felt really good again, and I had a lot of motivation to go for the win, but I had a flat in the last 5km, and the race was over for me. It was a pity."
"This was a good race to get some speed back in the legs before the Giro d'Italia U23 so now I just need to go to Italy with confidence, and I know that my condition is there."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“The guys were looking good at the beginning, and we were very active at the start of the race. The pace was really fast all day, and it was good to have Pascal Eenkhoorn and Jasper Philipsen in the front group of around 20 riders. The eyes were on us in the front group, so we had to take the responsibility a little bit. Mario Spengler then came across as part of the chasing group at the end. It was a good position for us, but we had some back luck with Jasper needing a wheel change with 3km to go. Pascal then attacked, and he looked good, but in the end, it all came back together. We were pretty unlucky at the end, but the guys were looking good especially Jasper and Pascal who both now head to Giro d’Italia U23.”
Memorial Van Coningsloo
One day race: Wavre > Bonheiden, 182.8km
Top 3: 1. Yves Coolen (Home Solution-Anmapa-Soenens) 2. Stijn De Bock (Cibel-Cebon) 3. Lamb Ross (United Cycling Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 17. Mario Spengler 23. Pascal Eenkhoorn 34. Jasper Philipsen