Top Ten Finish for Hirschi at Italian One-Day Classic1. October 2017, Oggiono (ITA) — Development Team
Marc Hirschi secured a top ten finish at Piccolo Giro di Lombardia today, crossing the line sixth after riding as part of a chase group behind a late three-rider breakaway that went on to battle for victory in the closing kilometers of the race.
It was a fast start to the day in Italy with a flurry of early attacks being pulled back by the peloton before, after just under 50km, of the 174.7km course, nine riders were able to go clear and begin to build up an advantage over the rest of the field.
BMC Development Team quickly took up responsibility at the front of the peloton behind and kept the gap under control, never allowing it to extend beyond the two-minute mark before, with the breakaway shattered on the grueling climb of Madonna del Ghisallo, the race was back together heading into the final 60km of the race.
On the descent of the climb, three riders attacked and in the end, they were able to open up an advantage of three minutes heading into the final 25km of the race. Despite a determined chase behind, this advantage would prove to be enough to see them go head to head for the day's honors with Aleksandr Riabushenko (Team Palazzago Amarù) taking the win ahead of Andrea Cacciotti (Hopplà Petroli Firenze) and Gino Maeder (Vc Mendrisio PL Valli).
In the end, only a reduced group of riders was left behind the trio, and Marc Hirschi was BMC Development Team's best-placed riders, sprinting to sixth overall in the penultimate race of the season.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"Today we had a really strong team, and even in the final, we had four guys still up there in the main group. On the first long climb, the peloton was setting a really hard pace and going over the top there were only around 40 guys left in the bunch. Then, on the descent, there was a lot of attacks, and eventually, three riders went clear and behind, we never settled into an organized chase, and in the final, the gap was just too big. We came close at the end, but we didn't manage to catch them. It is a shame as we were still feeling strong and I was there with Steff Cras as well as Reto and Patrick Müller. We tried to pull them back, but we just didn't manage it."
"Overall I am really happy with my season. This was my first year in the U23 category, and I wanted to learn a lot, which I have, and get a lot of experience racing longer and harder races. I think I have developed well and made a lot of improvements. I think my Classics season went really well and then I had good results at the European Championships which I didn't expect. For me, this season has given me a lot of confidence and to finish the year with sixth overall in Lombardia is great."
Sports Director, Jens Blatter:
"It was a tough race today with the peloton hours being raceFirst two hours the average was over 47km/h. Our riders were always well-positioned, and after pulling for the first 100km of the race, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Martin Schäppi dropped back on the long climb up to Madonna del Ghisallo. Three riders then attacked on the descent and we missed out on the move, but at the time, we weren't too worried as there was still around 60km to go. However, we let them go too far up the road and the gap extended to over three minutes and with no one helping us with the chase behind, they went on to contest the victory. In the end, we had Marc Hirschi finish inside the top ten which is still a good result, but we did come in looking for a podium position so we're a bit disappointed I think."
Piccolo Giro di Lombardia
One-day race: Oggiono > Oggiono, 174.7km
Top 3: 1. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Team Palazzago Amarù) 2. Andrea Cacciotti (Hopplà Petroli Firenze) 3. Gino Maeder (Vc Mendrisio PL Valli)