Team News – Gilbert Wins In Beijing


BMC’s Philippe Gilbert timed his sprint to perfection coming around Janse Van Rensburg to win a shortened Stage 2 of the Tour of Beijing and move into the overall lead.

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Team News – Gilbert Wins In Beijing

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BMC’s Philippe Gilbert timed his sprint to perfection Saturday, coming around Janse Van Rensburg (Team Giant-Shimano) on the final curve of a shortened Stage 2 of the Tour of Beijing to take the win and move into the overall lead.

Inside of 100 meters to go, Van Rensburg took the lead. But Gilbert and his BMC teammachine SLR01 overtook him with 25 meters to go and the past world road champion still had time to thrust his arm in the air as he won his team-best sixth race of the season. “I was waiting because I knew in a finish like this that I am really strong,” Gilbert said.

2014_GilbertSprintBrabantse Pijl

“So I was just waiting for someone else to take the lead. I did not want to go first. So when Van Rensburg went, it was perfect. I think he wanted me to go on the inside and close me out. But I just went on the corner on the left. There was a lot of space and I didn’t take any risks.” Gilbert’s win help him also take the lead in the sprint classification and added to back-to-back victories in April at Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race and two stages and the overall of the Ster ZLM Toer in June.

Gilbert was part of a large group that was shoulder-to-shoulder across the road leading into the final kilometers of the uphill finish of the 111-km race that was shortened by 36 km due to poor air quality at the original finish city of Yanqing. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the change meant a switch of tactics.

“We spoke in our meeting this morning that if we had the opportunity for Philippe, we would take it,” Ledanois said. “The guys did a very good job for him.” Gilbert, who is racing the Tour of Beijing for the first time, said it was confusing hearing of last-minute changes, but they were in his favor. “It is always better for me when it is an uphill finish,” he said. “I was focused on the race and I got some good help from teammates, which was important for the position at the end. And then I was feeling good in the last kilometer.”

In the overall standings, Gilbert leads Van Rensburg by five seconds and third-place finisher Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) by seven. BMC Racing Team’s Samuel Sánchez was 14th on the stage – in the same time as Gilbert – and is one of 21 riders who are 11 seconds off the lead with three days to go. “This was a good result for the team and Philippe has good legs after the world championships,” Ledanois said.

“Philippe is very motivated and Samuel is there, too, and also motivated. So it is perfect for us at the moment.” Gilbert said he will take a wait-and-see approach to hang onto the leader’s red jersey during Sunday’s mountainous stage, which features seven categorized climbs. “Everyone is saying the long climb of 12 kilometers is very hard,” he said. “But I don’t know. I have never done it. We will take things day-by-day and see for the GC (general classification).”

1 Gilbert Philippe, BMC Racing Team 2:29:02
2 Janse van Rensburg Reinardt, Team Giant-Shimano
3 Costa Rui, Lampre-Merida
4 Chernetckii Sergei, Team Katusha
5 Martin Daniel, Garmin Sharp
6 Serry Pieter, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
7 Herrada Jesús, Movistar Team
8 Chaves Rubio Johan Esteban, Orica GreenEDGE
9 Impey Daryl, Orica GreenEDGE

14 Sánchez Samuel, BMC Racing Team
20 Yates Simon, Orica GreenEDGE
61 Swift Ben, Team Sky 0:42
116 Craven Dan, Team Europcar 5.09

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