Tour des Fjords Stage 4: Schär Maintains Second on GC3. September 2016, Sandnes (NOR) — Road Team
Tour des Fjords Stage 4 saw BMC Racing Team on the attack again with Floris Gerts riding as part of the day’s breakaway before Damiano Caruso and Michael Schär added to BMC Racing Team’s list of top ten finishes in Norway.
Gerts was part of an early 5-rider breakaway that quickly established a substantial advantage over the peloton that they were able to extend to beyond ten minutes after only 30km of racing.
The group was holding strong at the front of the race for the majority of the stage and went into the final 70km with their lead hovering around 7 minutes 30 seconds.
The final finishing circuit, which included a short, sharp climb, saw the peloton split and the main group of General Classification riders close down the gap to Gerts and the remaining two breakaway riders.
The race eventually came down to exciting finale on the home straight with Ashbjørn Anderson (Delko Marseille-Provence) and Bjørn Hoem (Team Joker Byggtorget) launching a late attack inside the final kilometer to take first and second respectively in Sandnes.
Caruso and Schär finished with the bunch behind them in sixth and ninth place to maintain their position on the General Classification with only one stage to go. Schär sits second overall, 20 seconds behind Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), with Caruso in fifth place, 23 seconds back.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was a hectic day but we did very well as a team. Floris did a great job in the breakaway and created the perfect situation for us as it meant we could have a relatively calm day behind Kristoff and Team Katusha. At one point we thought that the peloton was going to let the breakaway go all the way but with time bonuses on the line some of the other teams started to pull really hard at the front. It was not an amusing final finishing circuit as it was lots of ups and down and a few crashes but we once again did well as a team and Damiano made a good attack to try and join me in a podium position. We have another chance to challenge Kristoff tomorrow. The parcours tomorrow is 90 percent set for a sprint finish but there are definitely opportunities for us to take some chances.”
“Like yesterday we knew we needed to really make a strong move with the breakaway to try for the stage win and today seemed like the perfect stage for the breakaway to make it. The peloton had other ideas in the end but it was a really strong ride from Floris. The GC is more difficult to challenge for but we are a really strong team and we will try again tomorrow for both the stage win and GC as Schär and Caruso are both looking so strong.”
Tour des Fjords
Stage 4: Stavanger - Sandnes, 162.4km
Top 3: 1. Ashbjørn Anderson (Delko Marseille-Provence) 2. Bjørn Hoem (Team Joker Byggtorget) 3. Christian Mager Stölting Service Group
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 6. Damiano Caruso 9. Michael Schär 14. Floris Gerts
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 2. Michael Schär 5. Damiano Caruso 31. Floris Gerts