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"I was feeling so sick on the bike and then Philippe Gilbert, Loic and Dylan came to the front and then it was an unbelievably good situation."

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

BARDIANI CSF FAIZANE

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FABIAN WEGMANN

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FLORIS GERTS

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MICHAEL REIHS

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MORENO HOFLAND

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ONE PRO CYCLING

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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ROOMPOT-CHARLES

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SONNY COLBRELLI

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TEAM STÖLTING

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VOLTA LIMBURG CLASSIC

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02.04.2016 @ 23:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Floris Gerts confirmed that BMC are loaded with talents from their development team when he rode to his first solo victory at his home race, Volta Limburg Classic, completing an impressive performance by the American team. Having been joined by four teammates in the elite group that escaped on the final climbs, he helped drive the pace before launching a surprise attack with less than 2km to go and holding off his chasers. Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) beat Philippe Gilbert (BMC) in the sprint for second.

 

We have gathered a few reactions.

 

Floris Gerts: It was an unbelievably good situation for BMC

Floris Gerts stormed home to take his first win as a professional at Volta Limburg Classic today, in what was a race controlled by BMC Racing Team. Philippe Gilbert crossed the line in third place to replicate BMC Racing Team’s first and third podium places from 2015.

 

“For me it feels like my home ride and I train a lot in this area,” Gerts said. Although I haven’t trained here in the last six months, I know all of the road and exactly where and what was coming. I was actually looking forward to this race all year and this week I said to myself that I have to give it everything. I didn’t want any regrets after the race. It was really a team effort.

 

“There wasn’t really much wind. We just made sure that we were riding up the front and didn’t have to chase two big groups. There was a breakaway and Tom Bohli and Manuel Senni did a great job controlling the group and this was really important. After they did this, we could race with the really strong efforts of Dylan Teuns and Loic Vliegen in the front group. They made the race really hard and after this, I decided to attack because I felt really strong. I went with Rick Zabel and from that moment I gave it everything. I was feeling so sick on the bike and then Philippe Gilbert, Loic and Dylan came to the front and then it was an unbelievably good situation.

 

”In the last kilometer Philippe pushed me a little so I attacked again. The other guys behind me weren’t really chasing but I don’t really know what happened behind me. I kept going and I got to the finish line. It felt like all of the other riders deserved the win just as much, so it really was a team effort. I cannot describe it better than that.

 

”My grandfather was there to see me race which was really special because he is getting old. I don’t know if he saw everything but it was really special that my two brothers and my parents came with my grandfather to watch the race. For them it is also home as my grandfather comes from here and my mother also.

 

”I just wanted to give the race today everything I had. Winning is unbelievable but I also got a lot of confidence out of some other races like E3 Harelbeke, so I’m looking forward to the next races.

 

 "The team has dominated from the start. This victory means a lot to me. Actually, we rode for Philippe. "But with 2-3km to go, he gave me suddenly a boost. I do not know whether he meant that I had to set the pace or should attack. But I suddenly had a gap and kept going until the finish.”

Philippe Gilbert after third place: I am not where I want to be
"We had five rider in front, which was fantastic. Then you can speak of a deserved victory,” Gilbert told L1. "I'm definitely not at the level where I want to be at this time. The condition is just not good, I have to keep working.

 

“It is hard to win the Amstel Gold Race. You have to be at your best in that race and I'm not sure I'm going to be that. That makes a big difference. "

 

Sonny Colbrelli outnumbered by BMC: I was in a crazy situation

For the third time in five editions (2013 and 2014) Sonny Colbrelli had to make do with the second place at Volta Limburg Classic. In spite of a bold performance, Bardiani-CSF’s captain finished the 2016 edition between two BMC riders, Gerts - the winner - and Gilbert.

 

“Honestly, it’s hard to have regrets today. In the finale I was in a crazy situation, with five BMC riders in a small group. I think it was almost impossible to win. The only chance I had was a full-gas sprint on the final cobbled straight. When Gerts attacked I decided to wait, then I pushed hard to close the gap. In the end, I finished close to him. I did my best,” said Colbrelli.

 

“It was a hard race since the first kilometers, with BMC immediately on the front managing the race. With my teammates we marked them at our best, then in the finale it was my turn. The third podium doesn’t make me happy, of course, but it’s also the proof that I’m on form. It’s a positive signal in view of Brabantse Pijl, Denain and Amstel, my next races. Anyway, I hope to have the chance to come back to Limburg in 2017 and try to take this win,” added Colbrelli. 

 

Great Roompot performance in home race in Limburg

Roompot Orange Peloton look back on a successful fair race as they were one of the main challengers for BMC. Huub Duijn sprinted to sixth place from the small group.

 

"Maybe more was possible, but the dominance of BMC in the leading group was difficult," Duijn said after the finish. "When Gerts attacked I gambled that Colbrelli would close the gap, but he remained seated and thus Floris left. Of course I would rather have finished on the podium, but I think we did a good finale as a team.”

 

In the finale, Roompot took the initiative which pleased sports director  Jean-Paul van Poppel: "From around 80km to go, we put some riders on the front to make the race hard. The eight escapees (with Mitchell Cornelisse) were then quickly caught and then Maurit [Lammertink] was great with a strong group."

 

Lammertink was part of an attack with among others Rebellin, Vliegen and Theuns. They were caught about eighteen kilometers from the finish. With 22nd place, he ended up as the third best rider from the team. Behind Duijn, Michel Kreder was 20th . Nick van der Lijke was 59th.

 

Moreno Hofland and LottoNL-Jumbo left frustrated in home race

Moreno Hofland finished 12th in the Volta Limburg Classic this afternoon in the Netherlands. Team LottoNL-Jumbo gave it all in the race’s final to catch the breakaway, but could not close the final 15 seconds. Floris Gerts (BMC Racing Team) won the race.

 

“It was a big loss for us today, but it could have been a different story, as well,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “We lost the control when Jos van Emden had to change bikes on the Camerig. Our sprinters were actually strong.”

 

Moreno Hofland backed that assessment.

 

“Halfway through the race, we took a look at our chances and decided that the sprint was going to be our biggest opportunity to win the race. I came through the hill section quite well and so did Dylan Groeneweggen, but he said that we had to play my card today. We needed an extra man in the end to close the gap and get the chance to sprint for the victory.”

 

Fabian Wegmann taken out by mechanical in Limburg

Team Stölting Service Group performed well as a team at the Volta Limburg Classic (1.1) and was often visible at the front of the race. In the end, Michael Reihs was fourth in the sprint of the peloton and 14th overall.

 

The team lost its captain at a crucial point.

 

”No luck today for me #VoltaLimburgClassic Got a flat tire just after the peloton fall in to pieces. #nowaytocomeback,” Fabian Wegmann tweeted after the race.

 

Steele Von Hoff in the mix for ONE Pro Cycling at Volta Limburg Classic

Following a solid performance Steele Von Hoff sprints to the line claiming 16th position for ONE Pro Cycling after an active peloton find themselves unable to catch the final break of the day.

 

24 teams rolled out of Eijsden for the 43rd edition of the Volta Limburg.From the flag, the peloton was active with numerous attempts to create the first break of the day. At 9km a lone rider nips off the front and Chris Opie quickly makes the decision to jump across and bridge the gap, with the rest of the ONE Pro squad pushing forward to get into position for the next move.Less than 5km later, Kristian House leaves the front of the peloton in a group of 6 riders for a short period before they’re swiftly closed down once again.=

 

Finally came the break that stuck, when 2 riders attack from the peloton at the 25km mark, Marcin Bialoblocki works with a group of 6 chasers to jump across creating a solid group of 8 leaders gaining a maximum of 5 minutes and 5 seconds. Meanwhile, Speedy Opie required a prompt bike change after a mechanical left him standing on the roadside as the team car squeezed through the convoy on the narrow lanes. Following his crash in De Panne, Kristian House makes the decision to abandon the race 40km in but not before assisting Sebastian Lander, giving him his front wheel and helping him get back to the peloton. With 66km to go, the break including Bialoblocki is caught as the peloton led by BMC surge forward. Philippe Gilbert of BMC takes the opportunity to launch an attack causing the pace in the peloton to increase splitting it into small groups.

 

An accordion effect unfolds as individuals and small groups attack off the front and then get swallowed up by an unforgiving peloton. This continues until 164km when a group of 6 riders manage to break away from the peloton and retain some distance on the bunch. It’s at this time that Polish rider Marcin Bialoblocki is asked to ride on the front of the peloton in a bid to chase down the new leaders. Doing what he does best ‘The Machine’ surged forwards driving the pace higher taking 26 seconds off the gap in just 5km and everything is back together with less than 20km to go.

 

Over the last couple of climbs BMC came to the front with a show of strength and forced a break of ten riders over the closing stages, the peloton didn’t have any real organisation behind and the gap hovered at around 15 seconds over the closing kilometres. Martin Mortensen went to the front to try to bring the break back and set up Steele Von Hoff but to no avail. The break succeeding with one of the BMC riders jumping out of the group to solo to victory. Steele sprinted from the peloton crossing the line in 16th position.

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