Welten Takes Third on the Line as Eenkhoorn Secures Another Day in Yellow8. September 2017, Hardenberg (NED) — Development Team
Bram Welten proved his consistently strong form once again on Olympia’s Tour stage 4 today, sprinting to third place while Pascal Eenkhoorn finished safely in the bunch to maintain his overall race lead with two stages to go.
After a fast start, with over 40km covered in the first hour of racing, four riders were able to go clear at the front of the race. The breakaway quickly extend an advantage of 3’30” as BMC Development Team, riding in defense of Eenkhoorn’s yellow jersey, set the tempo at the front of the peloton behind.
BMC Development Team continued to set the pace before, with 45km to go, and all six riders in single file at the front of the bunch, they began to slowly pull the breakaway back before eventually making the catch with less than 5km to go and setting the stage for another bunch sprint.
As the sprint was launched on the finishing straight both Welten and Jasper Philipsen were well positioned in the bunch and after a photo finish the BMC Development Team duo finished third and fourth respectively.
Meanwhile, after being protected by his BMC Development Team teammates all day, Pascal Eenkhoorn crossed the line safely and stepped back onto the podium as leader of the General Classification heading into tomorrow’s penultimate stage.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“It was a really wet stage, and the guys controlled the race really well for Pascal Eenkhoorn and also Pavel Sivakov. At the start, there was a chance of echelons forming so we were all sitting up at the front. In the end, we went away with around 16 guys, but with around 50km to go, the peloton came back together. The breakaway was still out in front, so we rode for the bunch sprint. We were really the only team chasing, and this was maybe our mistake. It’s a bit disappointing to finish third, and I am here for a stage win. I think I went a little bit too late but there is potentially another chance tomorrow, and I am definitely motivated. The team is working really well together, especially Mario Spengler and Reto Müller who did another great job controlling the race.”
“It was another good day. Mario Spengler and Reto Müller did a super job again today pulling all day at the front. We were together in the peloton all day, and we really raced as a team which was great. We are still proving that we are really strong here. A lot could have happened on today’s stage with the bad weather and the wind but we got through the day safely, and now we can start to think about the overall win really. The next two days definitely suit me better, so we will see what happens.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Everything went as planned once again for us. A small breakaway went clear, and we let them build up an advantage and controlled the race behind. We tried to split the peloton a couple of times and it worked at one point with 16 riders going clear including all of us but at the end, there was a headwind, and it all came back together. Over the last 10km, we maybe did too much work, and that was maybe a mistake in our tactics, but in the end, it was good. We finish third and fourth and still sit first and second on the General Classification.”
Stage 4: Hardenberg > Hardenberg, 141.8km Top 3: 1. Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy) 2. Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal U23) 3. Bram Welten (BMC Development Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 3. Bram Welten 4. Jasper Philipsen 22. Pavel Sivakov