Gilbert Takes Third in Bunch Sprint22. March 2016, Olot (ESP) — Road Team
Philippe Gilbert has sprinted to third place on Stage 2 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in another bunch sprint won by Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
Today’s racing followed a similar format to the opening stage, with the peloton letting a four-rider breakaway go away early in the 178,7km stage.
The sole survivor of the breakaway, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), was reeled in with 14km to go, setting the stage for a bunch sprint into Olot.
It’s a good sign of his form on the comeback from recent illness, Gilbert said.
“Yesterday I was suffering a bit as it was my first race since Paris-Nice. I’ve been training at home but without race speed so it’s a bit different. Yesterday I was suffering but I was still there, so I was happy to be there in a good position with one kilometer to go today,” Gilbert said.
“I was up there a bit too early so at 400m to go I decided to slow down a bit and take the risk, but in the end Bouhanni was just too fast.”
Gilbert now sits in fifth place on the General Classification, 16 seconds behind race leader Bouhanni.
Tomorrow the peloton hit the first of the mountain stages with 172,1km, starting in Girona and finishing with a double ascent of the category 1 La Molina climb, on the cards. Gilbert will be working for BMC Racing Team’s two leaders, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen.
“I knew there would be three of four stages in this race that were good for me. The next two days I’ll be riding in service of my teammates. It’s always a big motivation when you have guys like Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen in the team. We know they can do well, so we are all motivated to work hard.”
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