Hermans Sixth After Impressive Breakaway Effort17. May 2017, Bagno di Romagna — Road Team
Ben Hermans continued his impressive display in the second week of the Giro d’Italia by spending the day in the breakaway, before going on to sprint to sixth place in Bagno di Romagna.
The 161km stage featured four categorized climbs and was an ideal stage for a breakaway to go to the line, which made it a battle to make the cut in the first hour of racing.
On the first climb, Hermans joined 24 other riders who went clear to form the day’s breakaway, and from there the peloton sat up slightly to allow the group to gain a few minutes’ advantage.
As the group reached the second climb, Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and eventual winner Omar Fraile (Team Dimension Data) attacked and opened up a solid gap on the chase group with Hermans.
The race situation remained the same for the next 50km with Landa and Fraile leading the race, the chase group two minutes behind, and a further three minutes back was the Maglia Rosa group.
It was with 40km to go that Landa and Fraile were reeled in, making way for further attacks from the group and also from the General Classification contenders behind.
The breakaway stayed clear and in the final 10km, Fraile, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) and Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team) attacked to distance themselves from the reduced chase group, which featured Hermans.
In the final kilometer, Herman’s group was closing in but couldn’t reach the front of the group in time to contest the win. Fraile proved strongest in the sprint and Hermans capped off an impressive day with sixth place on the line, to move into 19th on the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I had to wait until the climb because together with Tejay van Garderen, I’m better in climbing than the other guys who tried on the flat part and the beginning of the climb. Then it started to really string out. I moved up forward and I tried in a break, but I didn’t succeed. Then, 25 guys went and I had to attack across to them but this was the right move because otherwise, we were chasing all day in the back.”
“It was strange because there were some teams with many guys, some teams with three guys, some with two. So I would say every team had someone to work and finally, you could have eight guys who could turn the group. They waited until about 30km to go to make a good tempo and then it was only Movistar Team and one Cannondale-Drapac guy chasing. Finally, it was enough to go for the stage win but we could have taken so much more time if we had worked well together. I was gambling on Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team) in the final because it was too late to go across [to the final four] alone. Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team) did it but then you also lose energy for the sprint. We came back at 600 meters from the finish but it was just too late. I had the wheel of Visconti and I tried to sprint but I didn’t have the power anymore to pass.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“Ben was one of our guys on the look out for the breakaway. He had a good day. Ben is a strong rider and he was up there for the final. It was a good day for him and he made up some time on GC, if that’s what we are going to look at for him.”
“It was a tough day in front, behind and in the middle. We knew the last 3km of the last climb were going to be hard gradients, 9, 10, 11 percent. We thought somebody from the main peloton might try to attack on that section. I think Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team) did, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) did, and they made a bit of time back.”
Stage 11 Florence > Bagno di Romagna (161km)
Top 3: 1. Omar Fraile (Team Dimension Data), 2. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 6. Ben Hermans, 44. Manuel Senni, 59. Silvan Dillier
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.