BMC Racing Team Dominate Swiss Road Race Championships25. June 2017, Affoltern am Albis (SUI) — Road Team
After claiming gold and silver at the Swiss Time Trial Championships on Thursday, BMC Racing Team went one better at the road race by securing gold, silver and bronze after Silvan Dillier took the solo win and Stefan Küng and Kilian Frankiny crossed the line in second and third place respectively.
BMC Racing Team and BMC Development Team joined forces for the road race with a total of 12 riders, including three former winners in Martin Elmiger, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss.
Dillier was on the attack from the beginning to form a four-rider breakaway on the second lap of the 15-lap course with teammate Tom Bohli, before Danilo Wyss bridged across to join the quartet.
With 90km remaining, Dillier attacked from the breakaway and established a solid gap on the field to effectively start an individual time trial to the finish line.
Behind, the peloton caught the remaining breakaway riders and with 60km to go, Küng and Frankiny jumped clear to set up the eventual all-BMC Racing Team podium.
With three riders ahead, the rest of BMC Racing Team was left to cover the moves behind and as Dillier, Küng and Frankiny crossed the finish line to hear the bell signalling the last lap, the three podium spots were all but assured.
Dillier approached the line with enough time to dismount and carry his BMC Teammachine across the line to celebrate his maiden Swiss Road Race Championship.
Almost two minutes behind, Küng and Frankiny claimed the final podium spots to secure BMC Racing Team’s best road race result in the history of the Championships.
The Winner’s Interview with Silvan Dillier:
Congratulations, Silvan! Tell us about the race today.
“It was never the plan to go so early but at that certain moment in the race, I really wanted to take the race in my hands and play my best card. At the end, I was already alone halfway through the race and I had been in the breakaway since the beginning so it was a really tough day. I think this also played in my hands because Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) was isolated and he was in my opinion, the biggest opponent. I think we made it the perfect race and I was strong enough the hold my advantage when I was alone.”
How much confidence did you take out of your Route du Sud win?
“For sure, I had a lot of confidence from Route du Sud because it was quite a similar race. Stage 3 with the Tourmalet climb gave me a lot of confidence and showed that I can ride for a really long time at a high rhythm. When I was alone with 90km to go, I thought ‘give it a try’ because on the Tourmalet I could also do it.”
When you heard that it was Stefan Küng and Kilian Frankiny behind you, did you feel like the win was guaranteed?
“At that point I knew that the rest of the bunch must be completely on their limit because otherwise they wouldn’t have let Stefan and Kilian ride away without anybody else. So, I just kept my rhythm and it was perfect.”
How excited are you to pull on the jersey for the first time?
“I’m really excited to wear the Swiss jersey. It’s really special because I had the Swiss champion jersey for the time trial but I could only wear it three or four times a year. Whereas you wear the Swiss champion jersey on the road for 70 or 80 race days and this makes it much more special. I’m really happy that I can wear it.”
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“We had really high numbers in the team today which helped but Silvan Dillier was really impressive. It was the perfect ride for us. Not only with one, two and three on the podium but I think the team really worked well together. We had a good spirit and everybody was willing to help each other which is not always the case at the national championships. Kilian and I attacked about 60-70km out. A few guys tried to attack and I countered and then Kilian joined me on the climb. We were riding really hard and just rode together until we sprinted for the line behind Silvan. It was a perfect day.”
“When Stefan attacked, I also attacked and on the climb I made it up to him and we rode together for the rest of the race which was five or six laps to go. Stefan did most of the work because he was really strong and he was like a train in his time trial position and I was behind him. It was a really nice feeling to be on the podium. Before the start I was hoping that we could take the victory with the team but I didn’t expect to be third, and I didn’t expect that all three riders would be from BMC Racing Team so that made it really special.”
Swiss National Road Race Championships
Affoltern am Albis > Affoltern am Albis (205.6km)
Top 3: 1. Silvan Dillier, 2. Stefan Küng, 3. Kilian Frankiny.
BMC Racing Team Make the Top Five in Belgium, Ireland and Italy
19 riders from BMC Racing Team’s roster were in action across the various national road race championships in Europe on Sunday and in addition to the clean sweep in Switzerland, top five results were secured in Belgium, Ireland and Italy.
In Belgium, neo pro Nathan Van Hooydonck impressed in his third race with BMC Racing Team to claim fifth place in the longest race of his career. After multiple breakaways were brought back during the 233km race, Van Hooydonck found himself as part of a five-rider leading group with one lap to go. Van Hooydonck hung on to claim an impressive fifth place behind some of the most-experienced riders in the Belgian peloton.
In Ireland, defending champion Nicolas Roche claimed fourth place behind solo winner Ryan Mullen (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team). Roche was marked from the beginning of the road race, during which time the race situation changed with almost every lap. Roche bridged to the leading group on multiple occasions before a final group of three riders went clear on the last lap, from which Mullen broke clear to take the win. Roche won the sprint behind for fourth place.
In Italy, the day’s breakaway was pulled back with 36km to go and Damiano Caruso was eventually part of a four-rider group sprinting for podium positions behind solo winner Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Cycling Team). Aru went clear in the final 16km and the quartet with Caruso formed the chase behind, eventually crossing the line 40 seconds behind with Caruso securing fourth place.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Nathan Van Hooydonck:
“For me, it was a really hard race. I never thought about being in the front with these guys. In the end on the final lap, I started to feel the kilometers because it was the longest race I had ever done. My legs were really tired and I told the guys in the front that I was not able to pull anymore. They understood and Valerio Piva told me that the group was coming closer behind up so I didn’t want to give up my top five place. When the other four attacked on the last cobble section I was there but I was dropped a bit. I came back and kept riding full gas until I made it to the finish line. It was my third race with BMC Racing Team and this result gives me a boost.”
“There was not one minute when we stopped, it was just attack after attack. There was never really a group riding or a proper breakaway, it was just riders coming back and riders attacking and then groups coming back together. It was quite a rolling circuit and there was a strong headwind one side and a strong tailwind the other side, so it was hard for small groups and the bigger groups were closing the gaps. I was a bit disappointed but there was not much I could do. Ten years ago the level of cycling was a lot weaker in Ireland and now everyone is really competitive. This year it was a very, very hard race but I’m happy for cycling in Ireland. The level of the racing was very competitive and it was a great race.”
“The pace was really high going onto the final lap before Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) attacked. He was really strong on the last climb, and that’s where he made the difference. I tried to follow him, but he was just too strong for me today. I was in a small group chasing behind, but in the end, there was nothing we could do. I’m a little bit disappointed because I lost a spot on the podium in the final sprint, but my condition and shape are still good. I came into today after a big week of racing at the Tour de Suisse, and I was really happy to see that my form was still there and now I am looking forward to racing at the Tour de France.”