BMC Racing Team Animate EuroEyes Cyclassics Before Chaotic Bunch Sprint20. August 2017, Hamburg (GER) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team animated today’s EuroEyes Cyclassics with Silvan Dillier, Greg Van Avermaet, and Jempy Drucker part of late attack in the closing stages of the race before Elia Viviani (Team Sky) took the day’s honors after a chaotic bunch sprint.
An early attack flew off the front of the peloton after just 3km of racing at EuroEyes Cyclassics with two riders quickly building up an advantage that was allowed to tip over the eight-minute mark before there was a reaction from behind.
The immediate increase in pace saw the main bunch pull the leaders to within six minutes and, with 156km of racing still to come, they continued to chip away at the duo’s advantage before it settled at 3’30” heading into the second half of the 220.9km course.
However the race didn’t stay stable for long and with 90km to go, the final chase began with the peloton cutting the breakaway’s lead in half. Just 20km later, on the first of three ascents of the Waseberg climb, less than 30 seconds separated the front of the race from the rest of the field.
With the race brought back together going over the finish line, the peloton began the first of three local circuits around Hamburg and almost immediately three riders, including Dillier, tried their luck at the front of the race.
The group was able to put some daylight between themselves and the main bunch with the gap hovering at around 20 seconds heading into the final 40km of the day but, with the traditional bunch sprint predicted, the peloton, led by the sprinters’ teams, wasn’t going to give the three leaders much room.
As they went over the top of the Waseberg for the second time, with 27km to go, the Dillier-led front group was sitting 25 seconds ahead of the main bunch which, on the descent, saw a select group of riders, including Van Avermaet, distance themselves slightly before being pulled back.
It wasn't long before Dillier, Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi) and Truls Koraeth (Astana Team), were climbing for the final time but with attacks flying off the front of the peloton just a handful of seconds behind them, they were caught going over the top, with 15km to go.
Soon, a select group of around twenty riders, including Dillier, Van Avermaet, and Drucker, was drawn out at the front of the race, however, despite the strength of this group, the sprinters’ teams were determined to control the run into the finish.
After a motivated effort, the race was ultimately brought back together with 5km to go before a chaotic battle for position began and with no time to establish lead out trains, it was every rider for themselves.
Drucker was well-positioned heading into the closing 500 meters of the day, but in the end, it was Team Sky’s Viviani who took the win ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo).
Drucker was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider, crossing the line 12th and just missing out on a place in the top ten.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"Our tactic today was to go for Greg Van Avermaet, so that's what I did. We were in a good move after the last ascent of the climb, and we went away with a big group but unfortunately, the collaboration wasn't good enough, and the bunch caught us. I tried to stay in a good position afterward for the sprint and rode a lot in the wind as I thought Greg was sitting in my wheel, and I should lead him out, but he wasn't there. In the end, I tried to do make the most out of it, and it's a pity that I just missed out on a top ten finish."
Greg Van Avermaet:
"Everything went pretty well today. The guys put me in a good position on the final climb, and it was only really the last 3km that weren’t great for me. First, I was caught behind an almost crash with 3km to go so I had to brake and relaunch myself. Then, I was on the wrong side of the road and couldn't make my way up to the first few positions. We tried a few times in the final, and it would have been great if we had stayed away with the late breakaway, but it is tough to stay away in the final of this race."
"As we saw again today, this race is usually one for the sprinters, and the only chance to try something is when you enter Hamburg again and begin the loops over the Waseberg climb. I saw my chance when the riders from Astana Team and CCC Sprandi attacked, so I joined them, and we were working pretty well together and made it over the top of the final climb. Some riders then joined us, and we had a good group and an advantage over the rest of the bunch. Greg Van Avermaet and Jempy Drucker were also there, and we tried to go as hard as possible, but when the bunch is still organized, they have a good chance to come back, and that's what we saw today. I was happy that I was there in the final and I felt pretty good towards the end so, I am looking forward to my next few races."
Sports Director, Fabio Baldato:
"With all the sprinters at the start of the race, our priority was to try and position Greg Van Avermaet for the sprint and take some points. In the end, we saw Greg alongside Silvan Dillier and Jempy Drucker in a good move, and they were riding well to try and keep the front group away. But, in the end, it came down to a bunch sprint, and we just didn't have the right position to get a top ten finish, which was our goal. The team was working well, and we saw Dillier on the move and making the race hard which was better for us. It wasn't the best result, but we wanted to animate the race and ride aggressively, and that's exactly what the guys did."
One-day race: Hamburg > Hamburg, 220.9km
Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 2. Arnaud Démare (FDJ) 3. Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 12. Jempy Drucker 30. Greg Van Avermaet 39. Amaël Moinard