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"During the race, he was not feeling so good. He told those two guys to keep the chances. He was dropped on the second-to-last climb and then he came back. But he was not there with his condition. He told me tomorrow is another day,&qu...

Photo: Sirotti






16.03.2014 @ 10:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cadel Evans had hoped to repeat his 2011 win in Tirreno-Adriatico but it all came to nothing in yesterday's queen stage when he lost more than 8 minutes. Feeling bad, he gave his young teammates Ben Hermans and Dominik Nerz carte blanche to pursue their own goals and the former did well with a top 20 result.


Ben Hermans, in 17th place, was the BMC Racing Team's top finisher Saturday on the longest stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The 244-kilometer race was punctuated by three significant climbs – the last of which was a 14-km drag to the finish averaging 5.3 percent.

Six riders enjoyed a more than seven-minute advantage before the last two of the escapees was hauled in on the lower slopes of the climb with 12 km to go.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked out of a small group in the final kilometer to hold off Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) for the stage win. Daniel Moreno (Team Katusha) was third. In addition to Hermans, who finished 25 seconds back, BMC Racing Team's Dominik Nerz also finished within a minute of the stage winner, in 24th place.

BMC Racing Team leader Cadel Evans was among several riders who lost contact with the front group in the final 10 km of the finishing climb. The 2011 winner of Tirreno-Adriatico went on to finish 56th, 8:39 back, in a group that included teammates Philippe Gilbert, Steve Morabito and Michael Schär.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) held onto the overall lead while Contador climbed from 11th to second, 16 seconds back. Quintana is third, 23 seconds behind. Hermans is the leading BMC Racing Team rider in the overall standings, 1:22 behind, in 17th place.

"I am happy with the legs – my form is there," Hermans said. "If Cadel had a good day, I would be there to help him. That was the goal I had for this race. I am not so happy that I could not finish in the top 10 because that is the only thing that counts. Maybe tomorrow, I will have another chance. I hope it is another result. It is another climb and much steeper. Maybe it will suit me better."

"It was good news (the results of Hermans and Nerz) because those are two young, talented riders," sports director Valerio Piva said. "We were ready to help Cadel and the plan was to stay around him. He is our leader and our captain. During the race, he was not feeling so good. He told those two guys to keep the chances. He was dropped on the second-to-last climb and then he came back. But he was not there with his condition. He told me tomorrow is another day."


You can read our preview of stage 5 here.



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