Tour of Normandy: Welten Second in Bunch Sprint on Stage 221. March 2017, Forges-les-Eaux (FRA) — Development Team
Tour of Normandy stage 2 saw BMC Development Team out at the front of the race once again with Pavel Sivakov part of the breakaway before a fast and furious bunch sprint saw Bram Welten take second place on the line.
For the second day in a row, Sivakov was part of the breakaway at Tour of Normandy, with a four-rider group going clear off the front of the peloton after 50km of racing and steadily building up a lead which eventually settled at around 2 minutes.
Heading onto the final 24km lap, Sivakov and the other two remaining breakaway riders had been brought to within one minute, and with a fast, final run-in to the line, the chase from the peloton began to heat up.
Despite holding on until the final 3km of the 148.5km race, Sivakov was eventually caught by the peloton as it charged towards a previously predicted bunch sprint.
With the bunch re-assembled, BMC Development Team quickly reorganized to allow Welten to launch his sprint with 300 meters to go before being narrowly beaten on the line by the eventual winner, Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy).
With the rest of BMC Development Team finishing safely in the bunch, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Pascal Eenkhoorn maintained their position in the top ten on the General Classification behind race leader, Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo Vital Concept).
Quotes from the Finish Line
“Today was a good day for us. We were riding at the front of the peloton with the whole team before Pavel Sivakov made it into the breakaway, so we then didn’t have to do any of the chasing. In the last 2km the team kept me in a good position and then, in the end, Nathan did a perfect final lead out for me. The last part of the sprint was a slight uphill, and perhaps I went a bit early as Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy) was able to come past me, on the line. It is clear that my shape is good here and I am still motivated to keep trying on the next stages.”
Pavel Sivakov (leader of the Mountain Classification):
“It was another long day in the breakaway for me, but I wanted to make into the group to try to collect some more points for the Mountain Classification as well as take the pressure off the team in the bunch behind. We extended a gap pretty quickly and then we were just riding together all day. In the end, we thought we might be able to make it as we still had a good advantage at 30km to go but then, the final was just super fast with a strong headwind and straight roads. The guys did a really good job at positioning Bram Welten for the sprint, and he took second place, which was good for the team. I was feeling better than yesterday already, and I hope my form continues to improve day by day for the rest of the tour.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Pavel Sivakov was able to jump into the breakaway after the bunch began to slow following a super fast start. He was able to take some points in the Mountain Classification, and the group was able to get really close to the finish before being caught by the peloton. It was then clear that we would be heading for a bunch sprint. The last 1.5km was a fast descent, and the guys did a great job setting Bram Welten up for his sprint, but on the slight, final uphill he was just beaten on the line. We can see that Bram was in good shape today as well as Pavel in the breakaway plus we still have Nathan van Hooydonck and Pascal Eenkhoorn in the top ten on the General Classification so, it was a good day all in all. Tomorrow is another chance for us, and we will continue to look for opportunities.”
Tour of Normandy
Stage 2: Neufchâtel-en-Bray > Forges-les-Eaux, 148.5km
Top 3: 1. Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy) 2. Bram Welten (BMC Development Team) 3. Nicolai Brøchner (Riwai Platform Cycling Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 2. Bram Welten 38. Martin Schäppi 57. Nathan Van Hooydonck
BMC Development Team Top 3 on GC: 4. Nathan Van Hooydonck 10. Pascal Eenkhoorn 63. Bram Welten