Team News: Mixed day for BMC in AOz & Argentina


Mixed day for BMC as Cadel Evans loses lead by a second Down Under whilst favourite Taylor Phinney beaten to the spot in Argentina

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Santos Tour Down Under, Stage 5: Evans Slips To Second

Cadel Evans fought his way to a sixth-place finish Saturday on Old Willunga Hill, but the BMC Racing Team leader slipped out of the overall lead by one second to Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE).

Evans attacked in the final two kilometers of the 151.5-km race. But Richie Porte (Team Sky) countered the move and soloed away to win the stage. Meanwhile, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Gerrans – both of whom Evans initially distanced – worked together to catch him.


Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

After launching multiple attacks earlier on the climb and again in the final kilometre, Evans lost contact with the pair in the final 100 meters. He rolled across the finish line four seconds after Ulissi out-sprinted Gerrans for second. Coupled with a four-second time bonus earned for placing third, Gerrans regained the Ochre leader’s jersey he had held for the first two days but gave up to Evans after Stage 3.

Evans said he anticipated the lead-in to the second of two ascents of Wallunga Hill would be important. The past Tour de France champion received a strong escort, first from Danilo Wyss and then from Brent Bookwalter. But the pair were the only two other BMC Racing Team riders to make the split when Orica-GreenEDGE forced the pace the first time up the climb. “In the end, I have to say Orica rode fantastic and they raced for every second here all week,” Evans said.

“When they put pressure on me after the king of the mountain sprint after that first time up Wallunga, it caught some of our team on the back foot. That cost me at the start (of the climb) where I had to make my moves to secure the overall.”

Heading into Sunday’s 20-lap, 85.5-kilometer circuit race in Adelaide, Evans is four seconds ahead of Ulissi and nine seconds ahead of Porte. Time bonuses of three, two and one second are on offer for the final stage in the form of two intermediate sprints, as well as bonuses of 10, six and four seconds at the finish line.

“The race isn’t over,” Evans said, “but we are going against a team that is specifically designed for this race. We don’t have a pure sprinter here. The difference between first and second and maybe even third on GC (general classification) could come down to the intermediate seconds. So if you don’t come here with a lead out team and sprinters, it becomes quite difficult to achieve.”

Tour de San Luis, Stage 5: Favourite Phinney second
Led by Taylor Phinney’s runner-up performance, the BMC Racing Team finished three riders in the top 10 of Friday’s individual time trial at the Tour de San Luis. Larry Warbasse was fourth and Manuel Quinziato was sixth, while teammate Peter Stetina is now the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider, in sixth overall.


Phinney finished the out-and-back 19.2-kilometer individual time trial three seconds back of stage winner Adriano Malori (Movistar Team), who finished in a time of 22:11.

The past US national time trial champion said he made a tactical error by not asking the team’s mechanics to put a 55 or 56-tooth front chainring on his BMC timemachine TM01.

“I rode it this morning and thought it wouldn’t be necessary,” Phinney said. “But I got up to 75, 78 kilometers an hour going down on that tailwind section and just had to stop pedaling a couple times.” Phinney said he did not want to make excuses, adding that he knew Malori – a past Italian national time trial champion – would be strong.

“My power was there and my pacing strategy was good, but not having those extra gears on the way down cost me a couple seconds,” he said. “Whether that cost me the win, we will never know.” Jorge Giacinti (San Luis Somos Todos) finished third, 29 seconds back.

Stetina is 2:57 off the lead after finishing 29th, 1:47 back. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) assumed the overall lead from Stage 1 breakaway winner Phillip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) by finishing 16th, 1:18 back.

BMC Racing Team’s Darwin Atapuma, who had been sitting fourth overall after placing third on Stage 4 and fourth on Stage 2, conceded nearly two minutes to Quintana and slid to ninth overall, 3:21 behind. Atapuma said he had to shake off some nervousness in his first time trial on his BMC. “Nevertheless, I had very good sensations and likely did my best time trial ever,” he said.

“The important thing is that I am improving day-by-day. I am very happy about the confidence the team has in me, from the riders, the director and all the staff. Everybody is doing a very good job.”

Career-Best Finish For Warbasse
Warbasse’s fourth-place finish, 48 seconds off the winning time, was his career-best, while Quniziato’s sixth place result was his best result in an individual time trial since finishing fifth at the Italian national time trial championships in 2010.

Two days remain in the week-long race: a mountain-top finish at the end of a 184.4-km race on Saturday and Sunday’s undulating 148.1-km stage. Atapuma said he still has some fight left in his legs. “Tomorrow I think the stage will be decisive for the general classification,” he said. “It is my opinion that the race is not finished yet. I hope to feel good and try to win the stage.”



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