BMC Racing Team enjoyed a successful Sunday of racing racking up a couple of stage wins and WorldTour points while narrowly missing overall victories at both the Arctic Race of Norway and the Eneco Tour in Belgium.
Silvan Dillier won the final stage and the best young rider classification in Norway, finishing a mere eight seconds behind overall winner Rein Taaramäe (Astana). Dillier's teammate, Ben Hermans, held the lead following his stage win Saturday but lost it after suffering a mechanical in the final 30km of the race. The Belgian crossed the line over a minute after Dillier, finishing the race ninth overall.
"In the final 30 kilometres, I think Ben had a problem with his bike, so I stayed in front to check the situation," Dillier said of the final day's racing. "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."
Yvon Ledanois, director sportif for BMC, was proud of the young squad. "For them to control the race with only five riders is hard, so the team did a very good job."
The stage win was Dillier's first for his team on the road in 2015 having opened his season account with the Swiss time trial title in June.
Manuel Quinziato followed suit at the Eneco Tour, soloing to his first individual victory since 2008, with his teammate Greg Van Avermaet finishing runner up overall and Philippe Gilbert in fourth. Quinziato's only other professional win came was a solo win on the second stage of the 2006 edition of the race although the Italian was part of the BMC team which won the team time trials at the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France.
The Italian attacked what remained of an 11-man breakaway in the final six kilometres. Despite creating a considerable gap, Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Yves Lampaert (Etixx-Quickstep) worked together to close it in the finale which included the Muur Van Geraardsbergen, crossing the finish a few seconds back.
"I made a gap and the guys behind disappeared," Quinziato said after claiming BMC's 25 win of the season. "But I was a bloc [at my limit]. I said to myself, 'Don't look back.' But I looked back with 500 meters to go and saw that they were coming. I said to myself, 'You are either going to win, or you are going to die.' I won, so I am happy."
Coming into the final day with the GC lead, the plan for the squad had been to maintain control of the race but not to send a rider in the breakaway as sport director Valerio Piva explained.
"But we did tell the guys this morning that if a big move went away, we had to follow it," said Piva. "It was good that Manuel was there and he proved that he was the strongest. It was perfect how he dropped them and won the stage."
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