Eenkhoorn Leads the Charge on Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour Stage 13. May 2017, Succieu (FRA) — Development Team
Pascal Eenkhoorn ensured BMC Development Team’s presence at the front of the race on Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour Stage 1, riding as part of the day’s breakaway before a steep uphill sprint saw him secure a top five finish in Succieu.
The peloton kept tight control of the race over the opening kilometers of stage 1, chasing down all the early moves before ten riders were able to go clear after 50km of the 126.9km course.
The successful breakaway, which included Eenkhoorn, quickly began to build up a stable advantage over the bunch. As they headed over the top of the second categorized climb of the day, with less than 60km to go, it was hovering around 2'30".
On the approach to the first of two 16km local laps, the peloton began to pick up the pace, and consequently the gap started to fall. However, with 10km to the go, it had become clear that the breakaway still had the horsepower to hold off the chase from the main bunch behind.
The group continued to work together right up until the final 300m rise to the line which pushed the riders’ sprinting abilities to the limit. On the steep gradient, it was Jérémy Cornu (Direct Energie) who proved to be the strongest on the day, taking the stage win and moving into the leader’s jersey.
After impressing as one of the youngest riders in the breakaway, Eenkhoorn held on to take fifth on the line and, after claiming bonus seconds throughout the stage, he moved into third on the General Classification.
Eenkhoorn also leads the Best Young Rider and Sprint Classifications.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“It was a short stage but when it is like that, it is super fast all day. We missed the breakaway initially and I noticed that I was in a good position for the team at the front of the peloton so, I made the jump. I then had to go really full gas for three minutes. It was really hard to make it over to them. I was in the wheel of the last guys for less than five minutes and then it was just up and down all day. It was not easy to recover.”
“The first time we went up the categorized climb on the local laps, we were just riding it tempo but on the last lap it was full gas. There were no attacks from the group so, for me, that was good. The last 3km weren’t that steep, maybe 2-3%, but the last 300m were super steep and for me that was good.”
“The level here is high and it is good to be in the breakaway and I now have a strong position overall. It’s nice to start a race off like this.”
Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour
Stage 1: Charvieu Chavagneux > Succieu, 126.9km
Top 3: 1. Jérémy Cornu (Direct Energie) 2. Marco Minnard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) 3. Jai Hindley (Australian Cycling Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 5. Pascal Eenkhoorn 15. Marc Hirschi 21. Patrick Müller