Vuelta a Espana: Sánchez Sits in 7th with 4 Stages Remaining7. September 2016, Peniscola (ESP) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team raced aggressively on a tough stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana, where Samuel Sánchez now sits in seventh place on the General Classification with four stages to go.
Silvan Dillier made a 28-rider breakaway that went clear after the first hour of racing, and from which solo winner Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) claimed the stage win by holding off his breakaway companions and the peloton.
With the breakaway’s gap reaching six minutes Jempy Drucker spent a lot of the final 70km of racing at the front of the peloton to bring the gap down in order to protect BMC Racing Team’s lead in the team classification.
Ben Hermans showed his form by attacking on the final climb of the day, the incredibly steep Mas de la Costa, while Samuel Sánchez was unable to stay with the main General Classification contenders and lost some time and one place on the overall standings. Dillier was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in 15th place on the stage.
Tejay van Garderen abandoned the Vuelta a Espana early in stage 17 due to fatigue, which leaves BMC Racing Team with seven riders in the race.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“Today my legs changed completely. Before the rest day I was tired like most of the guys but then racing is not fun anymore because you suffer all day. I could always stay in the front but I suffered so hard and today I just pedalled and I could steer my bike into the peloton where I wanted. I knew I had good legs so I gave it a go at the bottom of the climb to be in front of all of the accelerations of the favorites and it worked out perfectly I think. It was incredibly steep [in the last 2km] and I knew that with my weight I’m not the best climber there so I had to anticipate for Samuel Sanchez there in final. Finally, he wasn’t there in the end with the favorites but I think you can’t do so much on such a steep climb so we had to take our own chances.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“It was a very tough start like every day in the Vuelta and it was also the day after a rest day which is every time a dangerous day. Finally, a big breakaway went away with Silvan Dillier but the only problem was that two guys from Movistar were also in there and for us it is important to not give them a lot of time because of the team classification. Then I asked Jempy Drucker to work to keep the gap not so big, not to close it but not to give too much time, and that is why Jempy and also Darwin Atapuma worked for that. We had the other guys with Samuel Sánchez to bring him to a good position on the climb and Ben Hermans was good and strong. Samuel was suffering a little like usual on the steep finish like this. He lost a position but the Vuelta is still two hard stages.”
“The bad news is that we lost Tejay van Garderen today. He was not good at the start of the stage and he was dropped. He came to the Vuelta not with the best preparation but we hoped day by day he was better. I think it is due to fatigue and the rest day, which is every time a difficult day for him. That is racing and we need to stay concentrated on the next days for the goals that we can achieve.”
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 17: Castellon > Llucena.Camins del Penygolosa (177.5km)
Top 3: 1. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Leopold Konig (Team Sky), Robert Gesink (Team LottoNL-Jumbo).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 15. Silvan Dillier, 29. Ben Hermans, 43. Samuel Sanchez.
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 7. Samuel Sanchez, 15. Ben Hermans, 40. Darwin Atapuma
Tour of Britain: Technical Sprint Decides Outcome on Stage 4
7 September 2016, Builth Wells (GBR)
Stage 3 was not only the longest stage of this year’s Tour of Britain but it also proved to be a possible contender for the most exciting with a thrilling final 40km showdown followed by a technical bunch sprint won by Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL - Jumbo).
It was another active start to the day with lots of attacks off the front of the peloton from KM 0 but it wasn’t until the the race reached the summit of the day’s first categorized climb that a four-rider breakaway was formed and was able to extend a maximum advantage of 5 minutes 20 seconds.
With the peloton inside 70km to go the pace start to pick up and eventually all of the day’s breakaway riders were reeled in by the main bunch but that wasn’t the end of the action on Stage 4, in fact it is was only the beginning.
With less that 40km to go there was a stream of constant attacks with BMC Racing Team marking any dangerous moved as well as Taylor Phinney making his own mark on the race with only 5km left of the 218km stage.
Eventually the race came together for the technical final kilometer which saw Rick Zabel move up to the front of the bunch before finding himself pushed out of contention for the bunch sprint at a crucial corner with just 600m to go, eventually crossing the line in 14th place behind Groenewegen.
Reaction from the DS Car - Jackson Stewart
“I think for most teams today’s seemed like it would definitely be a hard stage but also potentially a good day for the breakaway and at one point most of the sprinters were dropped because it was so hard so it looked like potentially it wouldn’t go down to a sprint at all. We we thought a big breakaway would potentially get away and go today but everyone was really fighting and not wanting to let to big of a break go and in the end the race neutralized itself and came down to what was a reduced bunch sprint, although a lot of big sprinters missed out.”
“They tried to make it really hard in that last section with lots of attacks. It was a hard section but you still had a lot of headwind and distance and a big road for 22km back so if the breakaway didn’t already have some time before then it didn’t seem like any one would make it but a lot of teams still tried and made it a hard race and eventually a large group came back together.”
“It was really tricky final kilometer and Zabel got caught out there just with the technicality of it. We stayed out of trouble with Rohan Dennis today and Phinney tried something at the end but it was really a good road for them to chase and close down for the sprint.”
Tour of Britain
Stage 4: Denbigh - Builth Wells, 218km
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL - Jumbo) 2. Daniel McLay (Great Britain) 3. Ben Swift (Team Sky)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 14. Rick Zabel 26. Loïc Vleigen 28. Taylor Phinney
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 12. Rohan Dennis 32. Loïc Vliegen 41. Amaël Moinard