Philipsen Demonstrates His Sprinting Skills to Take Second on Stage 24. May 2017, St Laurent de Mure (FRA) — Development Team
Jasper Philipsen showed off his sprinting abilities in France today as he took second on Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour stage 2 behind solo winner Benôit Cosnefroy (Chambéry Cyclisme Foundation) while Pascal Eenkhoorn maintained his podium position on the General Classification.
It was another fast start to the day with multiple attacks flying off the front of the peloton as soon as the flag was dropped.
After 10km, of the 165.6km course, three riders formed the day’s successful breakaway. The trio began to extend an advantage over the main bunch, which peaked at 4’20” as they headed up the first categorized climb of the day, Côte de Septème.
Two riders found themselves sitting in between the leading group and the peloton before making the junction at the front of the race after 50km. Despite the added strength, the gap remained steady and hovered around three minutes for most of the stage.
As the race headed onto the first of two local laps, the peloton began to up the ante, cutting into the breakaway's advantage kilometer by kilometer.
Eventually, on the final 23km circuit around St Laurent de Mure, which included a short but sharp categorized climb with gradients of 6.8%, just two riders remained out in front; Cosnefroy and Julien Loubet (Armée de Terre).
With 5km to go, the peloton was less than a minute behind the leading duo and continuing to pile on the pressure. Heading under the flamme rouge, just Cosnefroy stood between the peloton and a bunch sprint and, in the end, he was able to hold on over the closing meters to take a solo victory.
Behind him, the peloton was heading towards the line at full speed with BMC Development Team assembled at the front of the bunch before a perfectly timed final lead-out saw Philipsen win the sprint for the line and take second on the stage.
After dropping Philipsen off to start his sprint with 250m to go, Eenkhoorn finished safely in the bunch to maintain his lead in the Best Young Rider Classification and hold onto third overall on the General Classification, six seconds behind race leader, Jérémy Cornu (Direct Energie).
Quotes From the Finish Line
"I felt good today, and the guys did a really good job. Their lead-out at the end was incredible. We stayed calm today and let other teams control most of the race while we maintained a good position behind them. Then on the final few technical corners, Pavel Sivakov went to the front and at 500m to go, Pascal Eenkhoorn started to build up the sprint for me. At 250m from the line, I went, but I was looking at my wheel a little bit as the road surface wasn't so good and at some points, I felt like I was flying a little bit. It's a bit disappointing as we were only a few seconds behind and we had to stop for a train, so we probably lost around 30 seconds there."
"It's another second place for me, but I can't be too disappointed. The teamwork was perfect today, and I was grateful that the guys trusted in my sprinting abilities. I said at the end that I felt good and they gave me confidence. The victory is always nice, and no one wants to be second, but we can't complain. We did a great job as a team, and we showed that we don't need to be afraid of the bigger teams here. There are two more days to go, and I am excited to see what else we can do."
Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour
Stage 2: St Laurent de Mure > St Laurent de Mure, 165.6km
Top 3: 1. Benôit Cosnefroy (Chambéry Cyclisme Foundation) 2. Jasper Philipsen (BMC Development Team) 3. Michael Van Staeyen (Cofidis)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 2. Jasper Philipsen 17. Pascal Eeknhoorn 25. Pavel Sivakov