Grand Prix d’Isbergues: Bohli in the Breakaway on Another Wet and Wild Day of Racing23. September 2018, Isbergues (FRA) — Road Team
Tom Bohli flew the BMC Racing Team flag at Grand Prix d’Isbergues on a other wet and wild day of racing which saw him eventually cross the line just outside the top ten in 11th place.
Another day of wet weather saw Grand Prix d’Isbergues shortened in length from 199.1 kilometers to 175 kilometers with the riders tackling just four instead of six laps of the 11.9-kilometer finishing circuit.
Earlier in the day, a chaotic start saw the peloton strung out in single file in the opening 10 kilometers with multiple attacks ensuring that the race didn’t settle down until, after almost two hours of racing, a group of 28 riders was able to go clear.
Bohli led the way at the front of the race for BMC Racing Team and was able to hold his position when the group split with an 11-rider breakaway eventually opening up an advantage of 2’45” over the main bunch with 90 kilometers to go.
The gap remained stable for the next 20 kilometers or so before an increase in pace behind saw the peloton start to eat into the leaders’ advantage.
Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) et Johan Le Bon (Vital Concept Cycling Club) were trying their luck at the front of the race with 50 kilometers to go while Bohli sat in a 16-rider chasing group that had joined forces 20 seconds behind the leading duo and the peloton sat another two minutes back.
At the start of the first local lap, the two leaders had been caught by the chasing group and Bohli continued to help drive the pace however, the main bunch was still steadily reeling them in and at the 40km to go mark, the gap was down to 1’50”.
Another split in the breakaway drew a select group of eight riders out at the front of the race going onto the penultimate lap with Bohli sitting in the first chasing group, 1’10” back, that was ultimately able to hold off what was left of the peloton.
In the end, more attacks saw the day’s honors come down to a two-man sprint for the line with Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) sealing victory ahead of Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and teammate, Florian Sénéchal.
Bohli was still working hard in the closing moments of the race and eventually, he just missed out on a top ten finish, crossing the line 11th as the team’s best-placed rider.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“I was happy to be in the breakaway but it was definitely hard work getting there. The rain was pouring right from the start and even in the neutralized section, it wasn’t a lot of fun with the weather. Then, a hard pace was being set right from the moment the flag dropped and I thought to myself that today was the kind of day that if you’re not trying to go in front, the group will stay away and that’s what happened in the end.”
“Once I made it into the breakaway, I just kept helping to set the tempo and then followed the moves when more attacks saw the group shrink. The final was a bit messy and the group split up completely so on the last two laps, I just tried to make a good race. I am definitely pleased about my performance and even though it’s late in the season, I have tried to keep my motivation high. I am happy I could that I could make it into the breakaway as if I hadn’t done that it would have been maybe been even harder. I had some cards to play and I was able to show them a little today.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“It was full gas from the very start of the today’s race and the super bad weather, with a lot of rain and wind, only made it more difficult. I think most of the guys were tired from an equally tough race yesterday but Tom was able to make it into the breakaway. That was really good for us and him. On the final lap, he was a little bit surprised by a tailwind and got caught out when the split happened but he kept working as hard as possible and 11th is a good result for him. I am happy with his result and it shows that he still has some form at this point in the season.”
Grand Prix d’Isbergues
One-day race: Isbergues > Isbergues, 175km
Top 3: 1. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) 3. Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Floors)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: To follow.