Dennis Secures Podium Finish on Stage 4 after A Day in the Breakaway for Frankiny20. April 2017, Cles (ITA) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team were in the thick of the action on the penultimate day of racing at Tour of the Alps with Kilian Frankiny riding as part of the day’s breakaway before Rohan Dennis took the third spot on the podium after a bunch sprint for the win on stage 4.
After a fast opening 20km, Kilian Frankiny made a move as part of a four-rider breakaway that slowly began to build up an advantage before a fifth rider was able to bridge across and join their ranks approaching the Passo della Mendola.
The gap between the leading group and the peloton continued to rise before hovering over 3’30” as they went over the top of the Passo della Mendola, the first categorized climb of the day.
Kilometer after kilometer went by and the gap remained steady until the race reached the final 50km of the 165.3km stage as the peloton began an organized chase. Frankiny continued to push on at the front of the race as the breakaway hit the slopes of the second, and final, categorized climb.
The gradient began to take its toll on the group, and eventually, only Frankiny was left chasing lone leader Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) as they went over the top of the Forcella di Brez with 34.8km to go.
On the fast descent, Frankiny was able to rejoin Pirazzi and go clear himself before the duo came back together as they worked hard to stay in front of the main bunch, which eventually reassembled behind them.
With 10km to go, the duo was holding a 1’30” advantage over the peloton before Hubert Dupont (AG2R La Mondiale) was able to bridge across after attacking on the descent.
The trio held a one-minute advantage with 5km to go but with Dupont 1’02” ahead of race leader, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), at the start of the day, the chase began to heat up.
Despite getting agonizingly close to the finish, the trio was caught by the peloton heading into the final kilometer. BMC Racing Team was well positioned at the front of the bunch with Dennis sprinting to third on the line behind the eventual stage winner, Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale).
Damiano Caruso was also in amongst the action and took his third top ten finish of the race, crossing the line sixth while Brent Bookwalter was just outside the top ten in eleventh position.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"At the beginning, I felt really good in the group, and we were all working well together. Everybody was doing their job. Then when we hit the steep slopes of that second climb, and Pirazzi attacked, and I wasn't able to follow. He was always around ten seconds in front of me, and it was so steep that I could see him all the time. I knew that I was better on the descent, so I just focused on pacing myself to the top."
"It was a strong headwind at the end, and the final 10km was constantly up and down, so it was pretty tough to hold on, but I thought we might have enough time. Then, when Dupont joined us in the closing kilometers, I think we got our tactics a bit wrong and we could have worked better together."
"At the moment I am a little disappointed that we weren't able to go all the way to the line, but when I look back on today's stage, I can be proud of my effort today. And, I am of course happy that Rohan Dennis was on the podium after the sprint. For me, every race is a learning opportunity and today was just the same."
Sports Director, Max Sciandri:
"We had everyone except Damiano Caruso and Rohan Dennis on the look out for the breakaway this morning. It was a pretty tricky start, and we had a short climb and 15km so, I wanted everyone to be on alert. We then had Kilian Frankiny go with the successful move, and it turned out to be a fantastic day in that respect. It was almost a great end for him, but unfortunately, that didn't happen. I think tactics between the three riders might have played a part in that so, it was a bit of a shame, but Kilian did great nonetheless. I am really happy that after three hard days he was up there and in his first year, this was another great learning experience for him."
"The focus then shifted to Rohan, but the guys were prepared. At 4km to go, when it looked like it could come back together, they started to get into a line. A sprint it a bit of a lottery and after four hard days sometimes your legs are good, sometimes they're not, but he did a great race to finish third. The team raced well overall today."
Tour of the Alps
Stage 4: Bolzano / Bozen > Cles, 165.3km
Top 3: 1. Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) 2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 3. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Rohan Dennis 6. Damiano Caruso 11. Brent Bookwalter