Crit̩rium du Dauphine РTTT win for BMC


A win by BMC in the Team Time Trial in the Critérium du Dauphine sees Dennis take yellow from Peter Kennaugh

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Crit̩rium du Dauphine РTTT win for BMC

Team time trial world champions BMC Racing Team justified their reputation as they also won the TTT that hadn’t been part of the history of the Dauphiné for 35 years.

They reinstated Australia’s Rohan Dennis in the lead exactly two years after he took the command of the race through an individual time trial.

Along with his team-mate Tejay van Garderen, he’s four seconds ahead of Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali whose Astana team did great while Team Sky lost 35 seconds as well as Peter Kennaugh’s yellow-blue jersey.

FDJ was the first team in action but the third one quickly set the best time at the check point of Le Perreux, km 14, and on the finishing, and that was world champions BMC Racing Team.

After half way, they were four seconds ahead of Astana and the exact same number separated the two squads on the finishing line. Both BMC and Astana deplored to have lost some team-mates too early, as the likes of Manuel Quinziato and Dimitri Gruzdev couldn’t hold the pace of their leaders after forcing in the technical early part of the course.

Astana at four seconds
Quinziato was the highest ranked of the BMC riders so Rohan Dennis became the virtual leader once Team Sky appeared at the check point with a deficit of 17 seconds.

Second highest ranked BMC rider Michael Schär was also not part of the quintet that scored the victory. While the other specialists, Movistar, Etixx-Quick Step and Orica-GreenEdge, positioned themselves behind BMC and Astana, only Cannondale-Garmin and Team Sky represented a potential threat but the American team looked pretty disorganized and the British outfit was already 17 seconds down at km 14.

A significant defeat for Team Sky
Reduced to six riders, Team Sky kept losing time in the second half to finish sixth with a deficit of 35 seconds.

On the eve of the race, Kennaugh saw no reason why they wouldn’t win it. Dennis, also the best young rider in the race, is back in the yellow-blue jersey while Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) retained the polka dot jersey and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) exchanged the white jersey by the green one as Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) abandoned the Dauphiné prior to stage 3.

“Since we knew Rohan was our strongest guy, we had him set the pace and then it was up to the rest of us to decide how long of pulls we could do at that pace,” Tejay van Garderen said.

“We aimed for the winning pace and told the guys if you can hold it, you deserve to be there. If you can’t hold it, then you are going to get dropped. We finished with the minimum amount of guys, but we had the best time.”

“We didn’t actually talk about who would go over the line first,” the former world hour record holder Rohan Dennis added. “It was just whoever got there first. Tejay took over with 500 meters to go and I saw Dylan was just off the wheel. So I backed off and paced him back on. I just came at Tejay and Daniel and Joey and went past them, wanting to help them get to the line as quickly as possible.”

Team Sky – things didn’t go to plan
Team Sky’s Sports Director Nicolas Portal admitted things hadn’t run to plan on the day but insisted that there was still a long way to go in the battle for the yellow and blue jersey.

He told “It was a hard course but we’d been hoping for better. Our goal was to win the stage and the guys were really up for it, so we’re a bit disappointed with the result. We lost Ian [Stannard] before the split because he went off a little too hard, and Wout [Poels] is missing that race speed after his injury. Luke [Rowe] had been riding really strong but suffered a mechanical, and that meant we were down to five riders with 10km to go.”

“It’s disappointing but we’ll obviously keep fighting. We have to ride aggressively now in the mountains stages, especially with the bonus seconds available. There’s still plenty to fight for, Froomey, Pete and Nico are only 35 seconds behind and we’ll make the race hard in the days to come and hopefully move up on the GC.”

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