Teuns Claims First WorldTour Podium at La Flèche Wallonne19. April 2017, Huy (BEL) — Road Team
Dylan Teuns put in a breakthrough performance at the second race of the Ardennes Classics series, La Flèche Wallonne, with an explosive burst of acceleration on the final ascent of Mur de Huy to claim third place, the first WorldTour podium result of his career.
As is tradition at La Flèche Wallonne, the race came down to the final steep climb, however earlier in the 200.5km race, six riders went clear on the flat to form the day’s breakaway.
The peloton kept control of the race and the gap hovered around six minutes for the first half of the race.
With 50km to go, the gap was down to 55” and a few kilometers down the road, Alessandro De Marchi tested his legs with an attack off the front of the bunch.
De Marchi was joined by a handful of riders but the peloton was quickly on their heels and the group was reeled in. The injection of pace by De Marchi saw the peloton within reach of the breakaway and the catch was made moments after.
Another explosion from De Marchi with 39km to go saw the Italian go clear with a solo attack. De Marchi ascended the Mur de Huy for the second time solo, while behind him Bob Jungels (Quickstep-Floors) attacked to make the junction to De Marchi.
The duo forged on ahead and held a 30 second advantage over the peloton, before Jungels surged ahead of De Marchi 13km before the line.
Behind, the peloton was picking up the pace and by the time they reached the base of Mur de Huy for the final time, Jungels was in their sights.
Teuns was sitting in the first 15 riders as the reduced peloton started the climb and stayed in position as the group approached the finish line.
With 250 meters to go, the attacks started and Teuns put in an impressive effort to follow the attack by eventual winner, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Teuns) and hold on for third place on the line.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I was able to keep calm until the last two or three kilometers. The only important thing with the Mur de Huy is positioning, to be in front, and to try and ride as fast as possible up the climb. With Alessandro De Marchi in front in the final 30km we didn’t have to chase, and even if we didn’t have De Marchi, we were able to wait because Valverde (Movistar Team) was the big favorite. The pressure was on him and Movistar Team, and ORICA-SCOTT also took the pressure because they were riding for Michael Albasini. For us it was perfect to have De Marchi in front.”
“You need to be in the top ten riders when you approach the Mur de Huy. I knew from two years ago because I was in 25th or 30th position and I came up to 5th position at the steepest part but by then I had already made a big effort. I was with the big favorites towards the top of the climb so it was the perfect position for me. I was here in 2011 when Philippe Gilbert won and I was at the place where he attacked but I was boxed in by Michael Kwiatkowski and Sergio Heano, and I was thinking this was the moment to go. But when you are in a race with a top favorite like Valverde you need to wait until he goes. I tried to follow and I could for five meters but then I lost a bike length. Then it was just about keeping going to the end. The legs hurt.”
“In 2015 I was a neo pro and now it’s my third year with BMC Racing Team. I did my first Grand Tour last year and they always say that this helps you to step up a lot. So, I guess that helped me. I’m 25 now and Valerde is 37 so I think I still have a lot of years to progress and try and win this race one day. Today I shared the leadership with Samuel Sanchez and I took my chance that I got from the team. I’m really thankful for this chance from the team and I think I still have time to grow, to compete more for winning in the next few years.”
Jackson Stewart, Sports Director:
“I think we can say that today was a super day for us. We stuck to our plan and we gave Dylan Teuns and Samuel Sanchez joint leadership because they have both gone well here in the past. It was really nice to see Dylan to be able to podium. We knew he could do a top ten but we didn’t really expect a podium from him today. We had Alesandro De Marchi who did some big efforts and really made the race hard and for a while there we thought maybe it would pay off. I think we did a good day and we can be very happy with our result. Dylan is young, only 25 years old, so this signals big things for his future.
La Flèche Wallonne (200.5km)
Top 3: 1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), 2. Daniel Martin (Quickstep-Floors), 3. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 3. Dylan Teuns, 46. Samuel Sanchez, 47. Ben Hermans