Top Ten Finish for Müller at Liège-Bastogne-Liège U2315. April 2017, Liège (BEL) — Development Team
Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 saw BMC Development Team working hard at the front of the peloton before Patrick Müller secured a top ten position on the finish line in the velodrome.
After a fast start to the 178km race, Pavel Sivakov and Müller made a move as part of an early 15-rider breakaway, however, the peloton never let them gain too much ground, and after 25km of racing, the group had been reeled in.
A new leading group quickly formed with three riders going clear off at the front of the race. Counter attacks continued behind them and, after 60km of racing, the breakaway had increased to 12 riders with an advantage of over one minute.
After reaching over 1'20", the breakaway’s advantage began to fall due to an increase in pace at the front of the bunch and eventually, on the approach to the Côte de Wanne, the peloton hit the reset button.
With 75km to go, a new leading group of three riders formed and began to extend a solid advantage. But, the peloton wasn’t content to let the group go, and the gap was kept under control before BMC Development Team took control and brought the race back together again with less than 40km remaining.
A late attack from four riders saw BMC Development Team take up the responsibility at the front of the bunch once again and working hard to close down the gap. However, the quartet continued to push on, and, as they rode into the velodrome, it looked certain that they would contest the win.
In the end, Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto - Soudal U23) took the win after a final sprint saw the reduced bunch behind interrupt their final sprint before Müller crossed the line in seventh place for BMC Development Team.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"We were pretty much chasing the whole day. It started well with a breakaway of around 15 riders including Pavel Sivakov and myself, but then the whole day we were chasing down strong riders out in front. Unfortunately, we were never really present in those moves."
"Pascal Eenkhoorn and Leo Appelt did a great job working at the front of the peloton, and we were able to bring the race back together before the final four riders went and we were never able to bring them back. We tried everything to bridge across but it didn't work out, and then we were racing for fifth place on the velodrome."
"I am now even more motivated heading to Giro del Belvedere on Monday. I was not very sure how my form would be today so, mentally this was tough, but over the day I started to feel better and better. We have a strong team for that race, and Jasper Philipsen is on fire right now, so we will once again try everything we can there."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
"We didn't get the result we wanted today, so I think the team is a little disappointed. I wanted to see the guys racing aggressively, and we were part of the first breakaway, and it looked like a good move, but it was ultimately brought back. When the next group went away, there wasn't any drama for us to worry about as I knew we could help control the gap and, in the end, Leo Appelt rode up at the front from KM 60 to KM 80 and closed down the gap completely."
"We suffered in the end as we had to work hard to try and chase the final breakaway and after all the work the guys had put it, it was tough. Pascal Eenkhoorn gave everything for the team over the final kilometers, and Pavel Sivakov made a few moves before Patrick Müller finished sixth. Now it's time to re-group and look at the goals to come."
One day race / 178km
Top 3: 1. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto - Soudal U23) 2. James Knox (Team Wiggins) 3. Lucas Hamilton (Australian Cycling U23 Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 7. Patrick Müller 16. Marc Hirschi 22. Pavel Sivakov