Handzame Challenge: Müller Second After BMC Development Team’s Day in the Breakaway17. March 2017, Handzame (BEL) — Development Team
Reto Müller stood on the podium for the first time with BMC Development Team today (March 17) after finishing second at the one-day race, Handzame Challenge.
BMC Development Team positioned themselves at the front of the race early into the 159.9km race with Müller making it into the day’s successful 12-rider breakaway alongside Marc Hirschi, Patrick Müller, Jasper Philipsen and Tanguy Turgis.
Despite their advantage never reaching beyond 1’40”, the group were able to maintain a steady rhythm and eventually it was clear that the day’s victory would be contested from within this group.
Heading into the final kilometer, Patrick Müller attacked off the front of the breakaway, but a quick reaction from the group behind saw the remaining ten riders heading towards a sprint for the win.
With 150m to go, [Reto] Müller accelerated towards the line, crossing second behind Franklin Six (Ago-Aqua) and securing his first podium position of 2017.
BMC Development Team now head to their final race of the week, Zuidkempense Pijl on Sunday, March 19.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I think we showed really strong teamwork today. After the peloton split due to the high crosswinds, we were able to position five riders into a group of 12. Over the final three local laps, there was a small climb, and we tried to split the group several times, but we weren’t able to do so, and eventually we approached the closing kilometers together. Patrick Müller tried to jump away from the group with less than a kilometer to go, but they reacted immediately. Thankfully he was able to keep the pace high before I launched my sprint. However, after spending the full day working at the front of the race, I just didn’t have enough power in my legs.”
“I can’t be too disappointed with today though. I was able to ride out at the front of the race all day and that gives me a lot of confidence heading into Sunday’s race. Now, it’s all about recovering after today’s hard effort. I think the way we rode as a team is a good sign for Sunday and the other races to come.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“We knew that after 46 kilometers, we would hit open roads and that the wind would play a crucial role in the outcome of the race. The team did a good job keeping position in the peloton, and then we had five riders who were able to make the jump into the breakaway. I am really happy with this result for Reto Müller especially this early in his first season riding U23. Of course, we always want to win but it was a super good effort from everyone and we can head to Zuidkempense Pijl and Tour of Normandy confident in our form as a team.”
One day race / 159.9km
Top 3: 1. Franklin Six (Ago-Aqua) 2. Reto Müller (BMC Development Team) 3. Charlie Arimont (Ago-Aqua)