Giro del Belvedere: The First of Two Italian Tests for BMC Development Team17. April 2017, Villa di Villa (ITA) — Development Team
BMC Development Team lined up at the first of two back to back Italian races today (April 17) with Steff Cras just missing out on a top ten finish at the Easter Monday Classic, Giro del Belvedere.
The peloton set a fast pace right from the KM 0 and chased down every breakaway attempt over the first hour of racing.
After 43km, it looked like a group of four riders had established themselves as the day’s breakaway, slowly building up a slight advantage over the main bunch. But, once again, the peloton wanted to keep control of the race, and the quartet was reeled back in after 15km out in front.
The race remained together until the 100km mark when six riders went on the attack however the race lead continued to change up until the final 17.3km lap when only around 30 riders were left in the main bunch.
On the final ascent of the Montaner, Lucas Hamilton (Australian Cycling U23 Team) launched an attack and, after being joined by two riders, the trio built up a 20-second advantage with only 3km remaining.
In the end, it was this trio that went on to contest the win with Alexandr Riabushenko (Team Palazzago Amaru) taking the honors ahead of the Australian and Matteo Fabbro (Cycling Team Friuli).
Behind them, four BMC Development Team riders remained in the reduced bunch with Steff Cras just missing out on a place inside the top ten after a hectic sprint for the line. The Belgian crossed the in 12th place in the second group on the road ahead of teammates Patrick Müller and Jasper Philipsen.
The team now heads to GP Palio del Recioto tomorrow, April 18.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“It was a confusing and hectic final. Two guys attacked on the last climb and we were in a small group behind with only the European champion [Riabushenko] able to bridge the gap in the downhill. After that, I was caught in a group of 10 riders behind, and nobody was willing to ride for the win and take turns. So, after the last downhill, Patrick Müller came back into the group, and I tried to close the gap for him."
"Unfortunately, my engine was pretty much empty as I was the only guy riding. Tomorrow will be a harder race, and the parcours suits me better so after today, I'm really looking forward to it."
Sports Director, Jens Blatter:
“As we expected, the race didn't really kick in until the steeper sections of the final two laps, so, we were able to save some energy on the flatter part of the race. With 30km to go, we have four riders in the main bunch of 20 riders, but then on the last climb, the attack got us a little off guard, and we weren’t able to follow.”
“The guys did a good job at trying to close the gap but with no one else really working it was a hard task. We now need to refocus and look ahead to tomorrow’s race. GP Palio del Recioto is going to be a totally different race, but Steff Cras showed he is in good shape today and we have a good team around him.”
Giro del Belvedere
One day race / 166.6km
Top 3: 1. Alexandr Riabushenko (Team Palazzago Amaru) 2. Lucas Hamilton (Australian Cycling U23 Team) 3. Matteo Fabbro (Cycling Team Friuli)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 12. Steff Cras 18. Patrick Müller 20. Jasper Philipsen