Heavy Rain Dampens Colorado Classic Stage 111. August 2017, Colorado springs (USA) — Road Team
Heavy rain and hail wreaked havoc on the peloton on the opening day of racing at the inaugural Colorado Classic, which eventually came down to a bunch sprint in Colorado Springs.
The peloton faced six laps of a 23.4km course, including two intermediate sprints and two King of the Mountains climbs on offer, with torrential rain and hail adding an extra layer of difficulty.
Five riders went clear as soon as the flag dropped at kilometer 0 and the peloton allowed their advantage to extend to more than four minutes before BMC Racing Team helped control the situation at the front of the bunch.
As the breakaway started the third lap, the gap was down to two minutes before stabilizing for the 50km.
The breakaway was reeled in on the fifth lap and immediately more attacks flew from the bunch before Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) went clear with a 20-second advantage.
As soon as Phinney was brought back, Manuel Senni went clear with Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates) and Ivan Santaromita (Nippo-Vini Fantini) inside the final 6km, with the trio extending an advantage of 25 seconds.
The sprinters’ teams organized the chase behind however the trio managed to hold off the peloton until the final 300 meters of the race, before eventually being caught in the bunch sprint for the line.
John Murphy (Holoweso-Citadel) took the win while Brent Bookwalter rounded out the top ten as BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“Relative to the group we were racing with last week in Utah, today’s stage was a lot different. Basically, the first attack went which we didn’t really experience at all last week. Maybe that’s a testament to some strong sprinters being here and a couple more WorldTour teams. For us, without a sprinter, we were taking a bit more of a backseat and just looking for opportunities in the end which we did with Manuel Senni who did a good ride to almost stay away.”
“I was trying to be up there to stay out of trouble on the last lap. I was trying to stay in the top ten wheels and then I came around the last corner behind Joey Rosskopf in a pretty good position. Then the big, fast guys came from behind on the right and from there it was about staying up front and watching out for any gaps before tomorrow. I’m still happy to be up there in the top ten.”
Steve Bauer, Sports Director:
“The stage went well and we didn’t have any major mishaps; no punctures, no crashes, especially with the inclement weather off and on all day. Manuel Senni made a good move in the finale and got in a small break but he said his compatriots weren’t very strong so they got to 300 meters to go and were caught in the sprint. But, it was a good effort. We wanted to get through stage 1 unscathed and if we picked up a bonus, great. Tomorrow is the big day. I think everyone will go from the gun. No one will want to give up positions so it will be a battle for the front, a war of attrition, until the last laps. It’s going to be very tough so we just have to keep our maximum numbers up front as long as we can. Hopefully Brent Bookwalter or Senni can be up there in the final.”
Stage 1 Colorado Springs > Colorado Springs (150.4km)
Top 3: 1. John Murphy (Holoweso-Citadel), 2. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), 3. Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 10. Brent Bookwalter, 15. Joey Rosskopf, 32. Manuel Senni.