Welten Sprints to Second, Eenkhoorn Retains Yellow Jersey at Olympia’s Tour7. September 2017, Vledder (NED) — Development Team
Bram Welten took second place on Olympia’s Tour stage 3 today after a strong team performance from BMC Development Team saw them control the race to help set up the bunch sprint and secure a third day in yellow for Pascal Eenkhoorn.
Once again the attacks began as soon as the flag dropped at Olympia’s Tour with BMC Development Team taking control at the front of the bunch and chasing down a dangerous early move which included Julius Van Den Berg (SEG Racing Academy), who sat just 17 seconds back on the General Classification at the start of the day.
The attacks continued but it wasn’t until the race had covered more than 30km, of the 126.3km course, that two riders were able to go clear and extend an advantage which hovered around 1’45” for most of the day as BMC Development Team continued to set the tempo behind.
Approaching the 20km to go mark, the leading duo was holding onto their advantage but with teams eyeing a potential bunch sprint, a determined chase began and finally the race was back together inside the final 10km of the stage.
The battle for position then began with Welten well-placed when the sprint was launched before he powered towards the line to secure second behind the eventual winner, Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy).
Jasper Philipsen also put in a strong performance in the bunch sprint and rounded out the top five in Vledder.
Meanwhile, after securing one bonus second at the final intermediate sprint and finishing safely in the peloton, Eenkhoorn extended his overall race lead and now sits 10 seconds ahead of his teammate, Pavel Sivakov on the General Classification.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"I felt good today but finishing second is always a bit disappointing. It was a good day for us though, and with Pascal Eenkhoorn and Pavel Sivakov, we had two cards to play for the General Classification, and then we saw Mario Spengler and Reto Müller doing a great job controlling the break. In the final, Pascal and Pavel also did a great job for me. In the finish, I felt really good, and I came into the sprint with a lot of speed, but I went just a little bit too late. It's been a long season, and while I am starting to feel it a little bit, I think all of the additional races have made me feel much stronger."
"The team did a really great job today. Mario Spengler and Reto Müller controlled the whole race, and we were all really strong. It was just two guys in the breakaway, so there was no stress. We wanted to set the sprint up for Bram Welten and in the end, I was also able to take a bonus second with 20km to go. It was a positive day overall for us, and it is good that I can keep adding to my overall race lead day by day."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
"Like we had planned to do coming into today, we controlled the race. We only wanted to have a small breakaway as that would make it easier for us to control and we saw that happen. The guys did a lot of work, and Mario Spengler and Reto Müller were on the front for most of the day. We were also able to take another bonus second for the General Classification with Pascal Eenkhoorn which was good. Everything is a bonus."
"I think we lost the good position on the final corner with 400m to go, but Bram Welten and Jasper Philipsen did a good job. It was a pity we missed out on the win but a bunch sprint is always a bit of a lottery, so I am happy with how today's stage went."
Stage 3: Uffelte > Vledder, 126.3km
Top 3: 1. Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy) 2. Bram Welten (BMC Development Team) 3. Patrick Van Der Duin (Baby-Dump Cycling Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 2. Bram Welten 5. Jasper Philipsen 24. Pascal Eenkhoorn