Top Ten Finish for Caruso After Bunch Sprint on Stage 1 in France18. February 2017, Saint-Paul en Forêt (FRA) — Road Team
The first of two stages of the Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var-Matin saw Damiano Caruso claim a top ten finish for BMC Racing Team after battling for position in the final bunch sprint for the line.
With the peloton setting a fast pace from KM 0, several breakaway attempts were reeled back in before four riders were granted the freedom to build up an advantage over the bunch. However their lead was kept under control and never allowed to extend beyond 2 minutes 45 seconds.
The peloton hit the reset button with 60km to go as they caught the early breakaway heading over the summit of the short, steep climb Mur de Montauroux.
After multiple attacks off the front of the peloton, the race settled down once again with five riders going clear. But eventually, with just 4km to go, the race came back together, and the peloton began to organize itself for a tricky bunch sprint on the false flat to the finish line.
The stage victory eventually went to Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R la Mondiale) with Caruso crossing the line first for BMC Racing Team in seventh place.
Quotes from the Finish Line
"The most important thing today was to stay safe and not to lose any time on the line. We were able to achieve both of these things, so it was a good day for all of us. I think we can say with certainty that tomorrow is going be hard but we have some different cards to play. I felt good today, and now I am looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow."
"It was a good day and a good race to get back into the swing of things. The more intense efforts were a little bit of a wake-up, but that's what's needed to take me up to the next level in my progression. I'm looking forward to an even more demanding day tomorrow to test myself further and to try and make something special happen with the team."
Sports Director, Yvon Ledanois:
"We knew today's stage would most likely come down to a bunch sprint, so the primary objective for us was to finish safely with the lead group. We tried hard to make the race hard in the last 2 - 3 kilometers and everyone was super motivated, and Damiano finished strong which is a good sign for me as we head into tomorrow's stage."
"For us, today was a warm-up for tomorrow for everyone as the course is much tougher and will be the real test for those riders who are aiming to go for victory on the GC. Everyone has shown today that they are riding well and we will look out for opportunities to try and finish with a strong result tomorrow."
Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var-Matin
Stage 1: Le Cannet des Maures > Saint-Paul en Forêt, 153.7km
Top 3: 1. Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R la Mondiale) 2. Arthur Vichot (Equipe FDJ) 3. Maxime Vantomme (WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 7. Damiano Caruso 12. Silvan Dillier 13. Brent Bookwalter