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"I just stayed on the wheel and hoped that Ben could get back. But then, at the end, I saw the chance to win the stage and I took it."

Photo: ©Tim De Waele/TDW Sport






16.08.2015 @ 23:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC Racing Team's Silvan Dillier finished runner-up Sunday at the Arctic Race of Norway by winning the final stage, while teammate Ben Hermans saw his chances for overall victory dashed by a mechanical problem.

In the BMC Racing Team's second consecutive stage win in Norway, Dillier out-sprinted Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) and Rein Taaramäe (Astana Pro Team) in the final 100 meters of the 165-kilometer race. Taaramäe took the overall title, eight seconds ahead of Dillier. 

Dillier, who also won the "best young rider" classification, said it was fantastic to get his first victory of the season and the BMC Racing Team's 25th win of the year.

"In the final 30 kilometers, I think Ben had a problem with his bike, so I stayed in front to check the situation," Dillier said. "First, both Astana and Katusha were pushing forward. But then Astana set a hard tempo and split the field. I just stayed on the wheel and hoped that Ben could get back. But then, at the end, I saw the chance to win the stage and I took it."

Hermans, the race leader heading into the stage and the winner on Saturday, finished 93 seconds back of Dillier's group which placed him ninth in the final standings. After his mechanical problem, he was able to chase back to the peloton. But when the decisive attack came about 10 kilometers later, he was not able to follow. 

"There was something wrong with my bike, I am not sure what," said a disappointed Hermans. "I decided not to change bikes as I knew if I changed bikes I would lose the race for sure. When the attack went off at the top of the climb on the second lap, I was in a good position but I was not able to match their speed. I just had to ride tempo."

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said he had mixed emotions after the race. In addition to having Dillier on the final podium, the BMC Racing Team also took home the team title.

"Dillier did a very good job," Ledanois said. "Taaramäe and Zakarin are very strong riders, so to have won the stage today is fantastic. I am disappointed for Ben. To lose the leader's jersey on the last day is never easy.

"In the last two laps, we had to change tactics and Dillier did a great job going with the break and staying on the wheels of Taaramäe and Zakarin before taking the opportunity to win when it counted."

Ledanois praised the work of the whole team over the four days of racing. Joining Dillier and Hermans on the winning squad were stagiaires Tom Bohli and Floris Gerts, plus Campbell Flakemore and Dylan Teuns.

"For them to control the race with only five riders is hard, so the team did a very good job," Ledanois said. "This is a young team with a great ambiance, and I am very happy with how they handled the race today. Flakemore and Bohli were strong over the first 125 kilometers, while Gerts was a great help to Hermans after his mechanical."

Dillier's victory was the BMC Racing Team's third in two days, adding to Herman's stage win Saturday and Manuel Quinziato's victory Sunday at the Eneco Tour.



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