Sivakov Wins Ronde de l’Isard Stage 2 After Impressive Final Climb19. May 2017, Hospice-de-France (FRA) — Development Team
Pavel Sivakov secured his first win of the season today after an impressive final climb saw him take victory from the breakaway on Ronde de l'Isard stage 2 and move into the leader's jersey.
It was a fast start to the race with riders battling to be in the breakaway as BMC Development Team helped to set the tempo at the front of the peloton. Eventually, after almost 40km, of the 147km course, nine riders went clear including Sivakov and Tanguy Turgis.
Their advantage remained steady at around the one-minute mark for the first half of the day before stretching out to 2’20” going over the summit of the Col de Ares, which peaked out with 39km to go.
The gap between the breakaway and the rest of the field started to fall with 15km to go, as the leaders began to get the measure of one another with short bursts of acceleration.
After doing much of the day’s pace-making, Turgis swung off the front of the group on the early slopes of the final climb, allowing Sivakov to make what would be the ultimately winning move inside the final 10km.
Despite being joined by three other riders from the original breakaway, Sivakov looked confident and continued to set the tempo at the front of the race before a final attack with 6km to go saw him ride solo at the front of the race.
On the steep slopes up to the summit finish in Hospice-de-France, Sivakov continued to push hard and, eventually, he went under the flamme rouge with an advantage of around two minutes.
However, the Russian rider, who lives and trains in this area of France, kept working right up to the line before punching the air with delight as he sealed victory and moved into the leader’s yellow jersey.
With the remaining breakaway riders swept up by the peloton behind, Steff Cras also showed his strong climbing abilities to finish third on the line and move into the same position on the General Classification, 1’25” back.
The Winner’s Interview with Pavel Sivakov
Congratulations, Pavel. Can you describe how it feels to win here on home roads?
“Today went perfectly. It was a really nice day out in front and to win at home is incredible. I had a lot of support during the stage from people I know out on the side of the road so that was amazing to see and gave me a lot of extra motivation.”
When the breakaway initially went clear, did you think that the win was possible?
“I saw a really good opportunity after around 40km to instigate the breakaway so we attacked and alongside Tanguy Turgis we went ahead with nine guys. It was the perfect situation for us with two riders in the breakaway and it took the pressure off the guys behind. We managed our effort really well and Tanguy did an amazing job all day and eventually brought me into a good position on the last climb. From there, I knew that I could win so, it was just about putting my head down and leaving everything out on the road. I am really happy I was able to do it. It feels great.”
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I felt really good today. I knew the stage well because we had done a recon of it earlier in the week. With Pavel Sivakov in the breakaway, we were able to ride a bit easier at the front of the peloton. Pascal Eenkhoorn and Martin Schäppi did an amazing job for me, keeping me in front the whole day so, I could go full gas on the final climb.”
"The start was very fast because a lot of riders wanted to be in the breakaway. The successful breakaway then went after 40km, and I was immediately in it with Pavel Sivakov. We worked perfectly together from the start, and I did some extra pulls at the front because we knew Pavel would be the strongest on the final climb. When we reached the bottom, I eased off as Pavel immediately attacked. The team is really strong here and with Steff Cras also taking third on the stage it was a great day. I am really happy with my effort and that I could help the team to take the win."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“We were aiming to have two guys in the breakaway. We wanted to have a strong climber in there and also a rider who could add a lot of horsepower to the group. With Pavel Sivakov and Tanguy Turgis making the selection we had exactly that which allowed us to get into a good position for the final climb. The breakaway never had more than 2’20” over the peloton but Tanguy was working really hard to keep the pace high. He gave everything to the bottom of the final climb.”
“From that moment, Pavel was really impressive. He was super strong right from the bottom and everybody from the original breakaway was being dropped one by one. I think the guys were disappointed after what happened yesterday but they didn’t let that affect them today. I think if Pavel can win on a day like today, it was super steep in the last 7km or so, it’s a big win. To then see Steff Cras take third place, it was incredible and puts us in a good position for the GC. Now, we need to enjoy this victory before moving onto tomorrow’s stage.”
Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour
Stage 2: Salies-du-Salat > Hospice-de-France, 147km
Top 3: 1. Pavel Sivakov (BMC Development Team) 2. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal U23) 3. Staff Cras (BMC Development Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 1. Pavel Sivakov 3. Staff Cras 9. Marc Hirschi