Wyss and Caruso Add to BMC Racing Team's Top 10 Finishes in France21. February 2017, Istres (FRA) — Road Team
The opening stage of the 2ème Tour Cycliste International La Provence saw Danilo Wyss and Damiano Caruso at the business end of the day's bunch sprint to continue BMC Racing Team's run of top ten finishes in France.
It was a busy start to Stage 1 with attacks starting as soon as the peloton hit KM 0 on the slopes of Col de l’Espigoulier.
Wyss was part of an early six-rider breakaway which formed on the descent of the opening climb. However, a fast-paced peloton kept the group within their reach, and eventually, they were caught after only 55km of racing.
A new 4-rider breakaway quickly formed and, for this first time all day, the peloton sat up and granted them the freedom to extend a solid advantage, which reached a maximum of five minutes.
High crosswinds dominated the second half of the stage, and with BMC Racing Team leading the peloton, the gap to the four leaders fell to just one minute with 70km to go.
Heading over the second categorized climb of the day the race was back together and with a fast, flat run into today's finish line a bunch sprint was inevitable.
Over the final, 6km local lap, the tension began to build as sprinters' teams began to organize themselves at the front of the peloton. But, a tricky corner with 150 meters to go left today's stage victory wide open.
In the end, it was Justin Jules (WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Project) who won the battle for the line with Wyss and Caruso finishing fourth and ninth respectively for BMC Racing Team.
Quotes from the Finish Line
"It was a hard start to today's stage with a 10km climb right from KM 0, so the pace was fast on the uphill and the breakaway went on the descent. We were working hard and riding hard at the front but the peloton was doing the same, and in the end, they brought both groups back together. After this, everyone was a bit nervous because of the wind. We tried to utilize this and to make the race difficult, first with an echelon and then also on the final climb but finally, it came down to the sprint."
"I was feeling really good today, and I am happy with my condition, especially as this is my first race back after Australia. I didn't necessarily want to go for the sprint today; it was a bit dangerous, but I found myself in the first 10 to 15 riders with 1.5km to go so I thought I would just give it a try. Fourth is not a bad result here, and it is always good to be up there at the beginning of the season."
Sports Director, Yvon Ledanois:
"We knew it would be important to be part of any breakaway that formed on the opening climb of the day, and Danilo Wyss did an excellent job in this group, but the teams behind were pulling hard, and it wasn't meant to be. After that, we tried to take advantage of the wind, and we had everybody up at the front pulling hard, but in the end, it went to the sprint. Everyone finished in the first group, and we had Danilo fourth which was good, especially with the risky final corner. Now we can look ahead to tomorrow and see what opportunities arise before the final, hard stage on Thursday."
2ème Tour Cycliste International La Provence
Stage 1: Aubagne > Istres, 205.9km
Top 3: 1. Justin Jules (WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Project) 2. Jeremy Lecroq (Roubaix Métropole Européene de Lil) 3. Lorrenzo Manzin (Equipe FDJ)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 4. Danilo Wyss 9. Damiano Caruso 13. Brent Bookwalter