Sivakov Secures Overall Victory at Giro d'Italia U2315. June 2017, Capo Imperatore (ITA) — Development Team
After moving into the pink jersey on stage 3, Pavel Sivakov secured overall victory at the Giro d'Italia U23 today after holding his nerve on the final climb to finish third on stage 7 in Italy.
A fast pace was set from KM 0 with riders battling to get into the day's breakaway over the first hour of racing.
Eventually, after 60km, of the 148.9km course, 16 riders went clear and began to build up an advantage over the BMC Development Team-led bunch.
With no-one threatening the overall lead of Sivakov, the team kept the breakaway's advantage at around three minutes before several other teams, who were looking to go for the stage win, moved up to the front to begin the final chase.
With 40km to go, the leaders were hovering just over a minute ahead of the peloton and the catch was finally made around 20km later, on the slopes of the final hors categorie climb to Capo Imperatore.
It didn't take long for the attacks to start but BMC Development Team remained calm and with Patrick Müller setting the pace for Sivakov inside the final 10km, a select group of 20 riders was soon sitting at the head of the race.
With less than 30 seconds separating the top three on the General Classification at the start of the day, Mitchelton - Scott's Jai Hindley and Lucas Hamilton launched a final attack inside the closing kilometer of the race.
Sivakov responded quickly and demonstrated the impressive form that we have seen all week to close the gap to just three seconds on the line and seal overall victory.
Sivakov also won the Best Young Rider Classification while Jasper Philipsen, after moving into the red jersey following his win on stage 4, topped the Points Classification.
The Winner's Interview with Pavel Sivakov:
Congratulations, Pavel. How do you feel after taking overall victory at the Giro d'Italia U23?
"I feel incredible. I can't believe it. I hoped I could win but I never thought I would be able to win the Giro d'Italia U23 this year. It was really tough at the end but the guys did a really good job. They have been amazing all week and this victory is as much the team's as it is mine."
"This is one of the biggest races in the U23 calendar so it is a big win for me and the team. It's an amazing feeling and it gives me a lot of confidence as I continue to look ahead."
Were you confident you would win the race coming into today's stage?
"I felt confident coming into the stage. I knew the team was really strong and I was motivated to finish off the incredible work that they have been doing all week. I didn't want to let them down."
Talk us through the finale to today's stage.
"It was a pretty good stage for us overall. The guys controlled the race in the valley before Patrick Müller pulled hard for around 20km before dropping me off at the front of the race with 5km to go. From there, it was up to me to defend the jersey and win the race for the team. I lost a little bit of time when the two Mitchelton - Scott riders attacked but I was able to hold onto their wheel until the final meters."
Quotes from the Finish Line
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
"It's an incredible day. The Giro d'Italia U23 has been a big goal of ours from the beginning of the year so to see Pavel Sivakov take the win is amazing. Today's stage started pretty well for us. There was a break of 16 riders but with no one threatening the GC, we began to control the gap without too much stress. A few teams started to help set the pace as they were looking for the stage win and that allowed our guys to sit up a little until we reached the last climb."
"Everybody did a good job. Pascal Eenkhoorn and Tanguy Turgis set the pace early and then Patrick Müller set the pace all the way to the 5km to go marker with just a select group of riders eventually left in front. It was then up to Pavel and he did a great job to go with the attacks of the two Mitchelton - Scott riders who were close on the GC. This week the guys have all been incredible. They had ridden as one team every single day and I think that played a huge part in helping us to take the overall win."
Giro d'Italia U23
Stage 7: Francavilla al Mare > Capo Imperatore, 148.9km
Top 3: 1. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton - Scott) 2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton - Scott) 3. Pavel Sivakov (BMC Development Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 3. Pavel Sivakov 26. Patrick Müller 39. Jasper Philipsen
BMC Development Team Top 3 on GC: 1. Pavel Sivakov 21. Patrick Müller 29. Jasper Philipsen
Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc Heads Straight to the Mountains on Stage 1
BMC Development Team were also racing on stage 1 of the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc today with a tough 140km opening stage that saw the riders tackle the Col de l'Iseran before a summit finish in Aussios.
After the opening 20km of the day, five riders began to build up an advantage over the main bunch but with climbing from KM 0, the race never settled into a set pattern with continual change at the front as new riders bridged across and chase groups formed.
Over the top of the Col de l'Iseran, Steff Cras and Marc Hirschi were in the front of 40 riders that eventually split in two on descent.
As they made their way through the valley towards the final climb to the finish line, the BMC Development Team duo were working hard to help close the gap however the group was able to stay away with Jimmy Janssens (Team Cibel) eventually taking the win.
Unfortunately at the bottom of the last climb, Cras was involved in a crash and while he was able to get back on the bike and finish the stage, he lost time on the General Classification.
Quotes from Inside the Race Car with DS Jens Blatter:
“We were a little disappointed after today’s stage but we can’t dwell on it, that’s sport and we will keep looking forward. After racing through the long valley to Tignes, the group started to become smaller after every kilometer of the Col de l’Iseran but as the group went over the top of the climb, we still had Marc Hirschi and Steff Cras in the group. We missed the move on the descent which was a pity but the guys worked really hard to try and close the gap. Hirschi was pulling really hard through the valley. Unfortunately Cras crashed before the final climb and he lost a bit more time but I was encouraged to see him fighting all the way to the line and I am still positive that he can make a good result here. At the moment thats a big disappointment but tomorrow is an other day and we look forward to try tomorrow something. Thats cycling thats sport. Today we won the Giro and we had bad luck in Savoie. But we look positive forward."
Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc
Stage 1: La Léchère > Aussois, 140km
Top 3: 1. Jimmy Janssens (Team Cibel) 2. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal U23) 3. Colin Chris Stüssi (Roth-Akros)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 22. Steff Cras 53. Marc Hirschi 62. Reto Müller