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"But it's perfect for us. We have four riders who are at least five minutes down, so it's good opportunity tomorrow for the breakaway," sports director Yvon Ledanois says

Photo: Sirotti






02.06.2013 @ 18:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Apart from a late attack from Ivan Santaromita, BMC was a rather invisible part of today's first stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné but nonetheless the team regards it as a good day. The success of the early breakaway shows that the peloton has not intentions of keeping everything under control and thus there could be opportunities for the stage wins for the team later in the race.


BMC finds itself in the unusual situation of entering a major stage race without a GC candidate and instead the American powerhouse is focused on stage wins at the Criterium du Dauphiné. Those wins should either come from Thor Hushovd in the bunch sprints or from one of the other team riders mixing it up in an early breakaway.


The team was absent when the day's move went off very early in the race and instead the team had to be content with following wheels in the peloton. However, the day's winner David Veilleux (Europcar) came out of that early group and the success of his aggressive racing has encouraged the team a lot.


Sports director Yvon Ledanois was surprise to see the lead balloon out to more than 10 minutes before Sky, Movistar, Orica-GreenEdge and Vacansoleil started to chase and if a similar approach is taken later in the race, the American team could have a chance to take home that elusive win.


 "For the teams who had GC hopes - like Movistar with Alejandro Valverde - 10 minutes was a lot of time," he said. "But it's perfect for us. We have four riders who are at least five minutes down, so it's good opportunity tomorrow for the breakaway."


The team showed its aggressive approach towards the end of the stage. Ivan Santaromita who just finished the Giro d'Italia one week ago, attacked on the final climb with less than 3km to go and almost managed to hold off the peloton to take 2nd.


However, he was caught close to line but was happy to see his legs respond well after the Italian grand tour.


 "I looked at the finale this morning before the race and thought it was a good place for an attack to get second place," he said. "So about one kilometer before the top of the final climb, I tried. Sky pulled and caught me with 400 meters to the finish. I think I have good shape coming out of the Giro d'Italia, so we can try for the next stages." 


Hushovd had hoped to survive the day's climbs and contest the win in a sprint but the big Norwegian was dropped on the Col du Corbier with around 50km to go. Nonetheless, the former world champion is confident that he will improve later in the race and has a firm focus on Tuesday's third stage that could be one of only a few opportunities for the sprinters in the race.


"They started to go hard to try to chase back the breakaway and I just couldn't follow in the big hills, so I think I need a couple of days before I start to feel better, hopefully already tomorrow or for stage 3," he said. "I think I am in good form. I just need to get into the race and then it should be fine. So I am optimistic and know that I will be good in a couple of days."


"I have to see how the final of each stage is but I think that especially stage 3 could be a bunch sprint or a sprint from a bigger group. If there is an opportunity I would also love to go in the breaks."


Hushovd could get his chance in tomorrow's classics-like stage that is up and down all day but without any major climbs. Starting at 13.00 you can follow the action on



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