Gilbert Captures Tour of Beijing11. October 2014 — Road Team
Philippe Gilbert won the overall title at the Tour of Beijing Tuesday to earn the BMC Racing Team's 30th win of the season and help the American squad finish second in the final UCI team standings.
Very Special Victory
Gilbert and his BMC teammachine SLR01 crossed the finish line in the peloton at the end of the 117-kilometer circuit race around the Olympic pavilion in Beijing to secure a three-second victory over Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp). Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) finished third, six seconds back. Gilbert's overall win was the first of his career of a WorldTour stage race and seventh on the year, the most by a BMC Racing Team rider during 2014. The 30 victories also matched a BMC Racing Team record, set last year. "This is a big win, not only for me, but also a big one for the team," Gilbert said. "I knew the team was really good here, which gave me confidence. And when you have confidence, there is less pressure. This was a great experience and I am glad my name will be in the palmares. It is a very special victory for me to win in a place like China." Gilbert's other victories this season included his win on Stage 2 that gained him the red leader's jersey, back-to-back victories at Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race in April and two stages and the overall title of Ster ZLM Toer in June.
Everyone Worked Hard
Just as it did on Stages 3 and 4, the BMC Racing Team was hard at work protecting Gilbert and his lead during Tuesday's stage. Yannick Eijssen, Martin Kohler, Dominik Nerz, Samuel Sánchez, Tejay van Garderen and Rick Zabel each took turns riding the front to reel in a two-man breakaway that enjoyed a 1:20 advantage heading into the final eight-kilometer lap around several of the 2008 Olympic venues. After the pair was caught in the last kilometer, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) took the win ahead of Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky). "The team rode great again today to keep things safe and keep Philippe out front," The team rode great again today to keep things safe and keep Philippe out frontBMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said. "Everyone worked hard right to the very end because we were afraid of gaps in the last kilometer. At 60 kilometers an hour, a small gap is more than three seconds. So a big thanks to all the riders and staff who worked really well to wrap things up right at the end of the season."
Riders Were Very Motivated
Helped by Gilbert's victory, the BMC Racing Team finished second behind Movistar Team, which won the UCI team classification for the second consecutive year. Tinkoff-Saxo, which had been second heading into the Tour of Beijing, finished third. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the momentum of the BMC Racing Team winning the world championship team time trial last month carried through to China. "All the riders were very motivated to go after the team ranking because we knew it was important for (team sponsor) Andy Rihs and (BMC Racing Team President/General Manager) Jim Ochowicz," Ledanois said. "Before we came here, we spoke with all the riders about getting a good result. And we did it. This was a big result. All of the team and staff can be very proud."