Dillier Shows Form with Eighth at De Brabantse Pijl12. April 2017, Overijse (BEL) — Road Team
Silvan Dillier showed he is on track for the Ardennes Classics with an aggressive display of racing that culminated with eighth place at De Brabantse Pijl.
The 197km race, which is seen as a bridging race between the cobbled Classics and the Ardennes, saw the peloton tackle 29 climbs and multiple groups go clear.
Breakaway attempts started soon after the flag dropped at kilometer 0 and eventually five riders went clear, with the peloton sitting up and allowing the group to extend an advantage of more than five minutes.
The pace in the bunch remained steady until the chase started to heat up with 100km to go and 45km later, the breakaway was in their sights.
A small group of riders attacked from the bunch and bridged to the breakaway and behind, Dillier was joined with three other riders in pursuit.
The two groups came together with 40km to go to create a 13-rider breakaway.
Dillier’s advantage held around the 20-second mark and with attack after attack playing out on the Schavei, Haggard and Hertstraat climbs, the then-10 rider move was able to stay clear.
Despite hitting something on the road which caused his saddle to slip down, Dillier fought on in his new saddle position to stay with the group.
Defending champion Peter Vakoc (Quickstep-Floors) and Tiejs Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) attacked from the peloton and bridged to the breakaway as the approached the Schavei climb for the final time with 1km to go.
Dillier battled to stay with the group and crossed the line in eighth place behind winner Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“I’m super happy with my form. With around 5km to go, I hit something. I don’t know exactly but we went over some cobbles but I hit a hole and my saddle slipped down. With this new position I started to cramp so my sprint was messed up because my legs were exploding.”
“It’s always hard on this kind of loop. When I did it the first time, Ben Hermans won it from a small group after an early move. So I thought it was important to hit the circuit in a good position and wait a couple of climbs until the selection is made. All of a sudden the late move went with two laps to go and that’s why I forced the speed in the front and attacked over the climb after the finish line.”
“I was in a group with guys who had teammates up the front and they didn’t want to work with me. So, I had to wait until the next cobbled climb as I knew if I kept the pace high enough I could bridge over the cobbles. That’s what happened and then the race was open again for BMC Racing Team and me. It’s a shame that I wasn’t able to do my sprint properly.”
“I’ve had good shape for the last four or five weeks and I’m looking ahead now to Amstel Gold Race. For sure, the goal is to not hide, nor be conservative until you get dropped. The goal is to be aggressive and try to attack, to make the race hard, to be in front. It’s also much more fun to decide what is going on in the race, rather than reacting to other’s moves.”
Jackson Stewart, Sports Director:
“It wasn’t a bad day for us today. The plan was to have Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny and Manuel Senni on the look out for early breaks today, and the other five guys to watch the middle section of the race because in this race it can often explode there. Silvan Dillier was one of those guys and then we also had Ben Hermans and Dylan Teuns for the final part of the race. We got caught a bit off guard when the big group formed with 40km to go but Silvan was able to bridge to them and show something.”
“It’s a race that reshuffles a lot but if you get the right combination of riders it can stick. There were a few teams with a couple of riders, and Silvan also did some great work, but we weren’t sure if it would stay away. So, I had some of the guys ready to move from the bunch if it came back together. We had all of our bases covered as you can’t predict this race. The group ended up staying away and Silvan Dillier was in a great position in the final 10km but his seat slipped with about 5km to go and he started to cramp because it was too low. I think this may have cost him a spot on the podium as Silvan has a good sprint for that kind of finale. But, in the end we can take positives from today as a lot of our guys showed they are in good shape.”
De Brabantse Pijl
Leuven > Overijse (197km)
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), 2. Peter Vakoc (Quickstep Floors), 3. Tiejs Benoot (Lotto Soudal).