Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) captured the victory at the Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday in Bologna. Instead of basking in his own glory, however, the Italian said he aims to help his teammate Dylan Teuns secure a victory, too, before the late-season classics come to an end at Il Lombardia next weekend.
"I think after today, I have to use the final races of the season to say thank you to Dylan, especially because today, he was really helpful and he did an amazing job for me. I know he wants to race for the win and I would like to help him to do that," De Marchi said in a team press release.
At the Giro dell’Emilia, De Marchi attacked on the second of five ascents on the short but steep climb to Santuario della Madonna di San Luca before crossing the line alone almost 30 kilometres later. Teuns remained in the reduced group behind and covered attacks before eventually settling for third place behind runner-up Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac).
"We did everything as planned today with De Marchi going in an early move and that was a perfect situation for me but in the end, I didn't need to go 100 percent for the win instead, I had to protect his position,” Teuns said. “It was a great win for him and I was happy to support him and cover some dangerous moves behind."
Teuns has had a strong end of season at the Vuelta a España, where he finished in the top 5 on five stages. He also played a key role for Belgium at the UCI Road World Championships in Austria, where Ben Hermans finished 23rd and Teuns was 29th. He’s hoping to use his top form to finish off the season with a victory in one of the late-season classics in Italy, before moving on to race for Bahrain-Merida next year. De Marchi will stay with the BMC team, as it transitions into CCC Team next year.
"I knew from the UCI World Championships, and from the Vuelta before that, that I was coming into this race with some good form,” Teuns said. “It was a hard recovery after the Road Race Championships so I came here with some confidence but not entirely sure what I would be able to do. However, I felt good all day and that definitely gave me a lot of motivation to do a good job in the final.
"It was good to also finish on the podium and get my own result. I think I found the legs that I was looking for in the spring today."
The Italian classics continue with GP Bruno Beghelli on Sunday, Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday, Milano-Torino on Wednesday, Gran Piemonte on Thursday and the fifth and finale Monument Il Lombardia on Sunday.