Turgis Wins Head to Head Battle to Secure Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23 Title1. July 2017, Zottegem (BEL) — Development Team
Tanguy Turgis secured an impressive victory for BMC Development Team at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23 today after his explosive final sprint saw him punch the air with delight as he crossed the line first in Zottegem.
After a flurry of attacks over the opening 25km, of the 175.9km course, a five-rider breakaway went clear at the front of the race and began to build up a slight advantage over the main bunch.
However, the peloton wasn't happy to let the group go too far up the road, keeping control of the gap before reeling the early leaders in just 15km later as the race hit the fourth of fourteen climbs, the Taaienberg.
On the Leberg climb the action began to heat up once again with various attacks flying off the front of the peloton before ten riders, including Pascal Eenkhoorn, were sat over 30 seconds ahead as they crossed the line for the first finishing circuit around Zottegem with 80km to go.
With four ascents of the Grotenberge climb, and six cobbled sections, to come, the rest of the field wasn't going to let the group get away too easily and as they neared the end of the 1.5km cobbled section, the Paddestraat, the leaders were being swept up.
An attack from Alvaro José Hodeg Chagui (Home Solution-Anmapa-Soenens) with less than 70km remaining saw him go solo at the front over the next lap before nine riders, including Turgis, bridged across to set the pace at the head of the race.
With 45km to go, the group's lead was sitting at around 40 seconds as Eenkhoorn made another move from the main bunch as part of a ten-rider group that eventually made contact with the leaders.
Almost immediately after joining the leading group, Eenkhoorn attacked off the front alongside three other riders, and as the bell rang, the group was sat 17 seconds ahead of a four-rider chase group with Turgis.
The two groups joined forces again with 23km to go and were 50 seconds ahead of the closest chasers and 1’40” in front of the peloton.
It was then Turgis’ turn to attack, and he made a move with Aaron Verwilst (Lotto-Soudal U23) with 17km to go and quickly built up a lead of around 20 seconds.
The chase group with Eenkhoorn didn’t sit up behind, but despite their efforts, Turgis and Verwilst continued to extend their advantage as they pushed hard over the final kilometers of the day.
With the gap sitting at over 20 seconds as they approached the final ascent of the Grotenberge and the flamme rouge, it was clear that victory would come down to a head to head battle between the two riders.
In the end, it was Turgis who proved that he was the strongest on the day, powering up the final climb towards the finish line before launching an impressive final sprint with 200m to go and going on to punch the air with delight as he secured the victory.
The Winner’s Interview with Tanguy Turgis
Congratulations, Tanguy! How are you feeling after today’s win?
"I am delighted to win today. It's always hard to take a victory during your first season riding U23 because the level is really strong so, I am happy."
"The race was really fast all day because there was never a proper breakaway out in front, so on the climbs, we were always going full gas."
How were you feeling coming into the race?
"Last week at the French National Championships I had good sensations, but I went into Wednesday's race a little tired. Today I was feeling much better so at the start I thought the win could be possible."
"During the race, I saw that Pascal Eenkhoorn was really strong too, and when we were in the front group together, I knew he could also be up there at the finish."
When it was just you and Aaron Verwilst (Lotto-Soudal U23) out in front, were you confident you could win?
"When Verwilst attacked on the last cobbled sector, I jumped across to him before the end, and we immediately started to work well together. That cooperation was good for the final climb and my sprint, and I went into the last kilometer with the attitude that I was the strongest. I was confident in my form, and I was really motivated as I wanted to take the win not only for myself but also for the team."
"This victory is a result of all the work I have put in during training and at big races like Tour de Bretagne and Giro d'Italia U23 over the first part of the season. Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my teammates and the BMC Development Team staff. I wouldn't have been on the top step of the podium without them. Today it was my turn to win but everyone was super strong, and I will be there to help any of the guys if they need it."
Quotes from the Finish Line
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Today was a big target, and we came into the race motivated to perform well after IWT - Oetingen on Wednesday. Tanguy Turgis and Martin Schäppi were feeling fresh at the beginning, and that made a huge difference in the bunch with many riders being dropped early. Pascal Eenkhoorn was in the first group of eight riders before Tanguy joined him as part of a ten-rider group. They rode together for a while before the group split again with Tanguy and Pascal both making it into the front group. Tanguy could take it a bit easy on the chase and then with less than 20km to go the Lotto - Soudal U23 rider attacked and Tanguy went with him. Tanguy looked impressive, and behind him, Pascal was doing a great job of sticking in the wheels and keeping an eye out for any attacks. Tanguy started his sprint 200m from the finish line, and he looked super strong as he took the win at a big Classic race. It’s a great win for the team, and I am happy for everyone.”
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23
One day race: Zottegem > Zottegem, 175.9km
Top 3: 1. Tanguy Turgis (BMC Development Team) 2. Aaron Verwilst (Lotto - Soudal U23) 3. Robbe Ghys (Lotto - Soudal U23)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 1. Tanguy Turgis 11. Callum Scotson 13. Pascal Eenkhoorn