BMC Racing Team on the Attack on Final Day in Utah7. August 2017, Salt Lake City (USA) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team made the most of the last day of racing at The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah with an aggressive display which saw multiple riders in the breakaway and Brent Bookwalter sprinting to second place.
An 11-lap circuit through Salt Lake City set the scene for the final stage and as soon as the flag dropped, attacks flew from the front of the bunch.
Stagiaire Patrick Müller was one of the first riders to go clear with the Swiss rider solo in front as he approached the start of the second lap with a 10” advantage on the chasers.
On the third lap, 18 riders, including Manuel Senni and Joey Rosskopf, had formed the first real breakaway and established a 1-minute advantage over the rest of the field.
Six riders bridged to the breakaway on lap six which took BMC Racing Team’s representation to three riders with Silvan Dillier joining Senni and Rosskopf.
As the breakaway riders started to attack each other with 40km remaining, Senni and Rosskopf were right at the front before Senni went clear with Simone Serbini (Bardiani-CSF).
The composition of the front group changed continuously inside the final 20km but the one constant was the presence of Senni, who was eventually crowned the most aggressive rider of the day.
With 4km to go Senni was the final rider in the lead giving it everything he had to hold off the storming peloton behind him, but was ultimately caught one kilometer later.
BMC Racing Team hit the front of the bunch as soon as the catch was made and positioned Bookwalter well on the run into the finish.
A late attack from Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini) was enough to take the stage win and behind, Bookwalter won the sprint from the peloton to finish in second place and retain his 5th place on the General Classification.
After a solid week of racing, including Bookwalter’s win on stage 2, BMC Racing Team won the team classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
" was happy to be up there today, especially after the big effort yesterday so I feel like my form is coming around. All of the guys had the green light to go in the breakaway. We were not going to control the race for me. Everyone did a great job, we had numbers in all of the moves and it looked like we had a good combination there to go away. But, like we have seen all week, there is always a team who misses it and even if they don't have much to gain when it comes back together, they play the spoiler and pull it back. Unfortunately, the breakaway didn't work out so when they came back I wanted to, like I have been trying to do all week, honor their work and do my best sprint at the end. I came up a little short but Canola is a great uphill sprinter so I think I can be pretty proud of my effort."
"I think I should be getting better from here. Like I have been saying all week, I came here pretty laid back to try and rebuild for the second half of the season. Getting a stage win, having a close second today and in the top five overall, I think relative to my ambition, focus and preparation coming in, it's a really good sign for the Colorado Classic and the rest of the races this year."
"I had good legs today. I felt my legs growing all week as I came from one month without racing, so I was improving day by day. The second stage I did a very good job for Brent to help him to win. The time trial was good and yesterday, i was in the front trying to win the stage. I attacked a few times on the climb but it was a bit too much. Today, I still had good legs and I tried from the beginning to go in the breakaway. They caught me 3km from the finish. I hope to race well in Colorado and after that, the rest of the races in Europe. This race will help me because we have raced at altitude so usually when I come home from these races, I have good legs."
Jackson Stewart, Sports Director:
“We tried really hard today to go for the win but we just couldn’t get there in the end. We were really aggressive but the racing here is a bit too defensive here. As soon as we try and put guys in the breakaway, others don’t want to go with us. We get cancelled out sometimes so it shuffles around a lot. We were thinking of going for Silvan Dillier or Brent Bookwalter in the final but Silvan had been in the breakaway already so we went for Brent. I think if we could have had a bit more control in the final, Brent could have won. Canola is a good sprinter so we did what we could.”
“It has been a pretty good week of racing. We won stage 2 with Brent and we were competitive in the General Classification. All of the guys played a factor in the race, especially in the breakaways, so I think we can be happy.”
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 7 Salt Lake City > Salt Lake City (118km)
Top 3: 1. Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini), 2. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team), 3. Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 2. Brent Bookwalter, 4. Patrick Müller, 8. Martin Elmiger.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.