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Philippe Gilbert is the defending champion of the Tour of Belgium. (Dr. Scott Major photo.)
Philippe Gilbert is the defending champion of the Tour of Belgium. (Dr. Scott Major photo.)

Tour of Belgium, Stage 1: Adam Blythe Fifth

23. mei 2012

BMC Racing Team's Adam Blythe finished fifth on the opening stage of the Tour of Belgium Wednesday after teammate Michael Schär figured in a breakaway that was only caught seven kilometers from the finish of the 162 km race.

Schär Felt Good
Schär was part of a breakaway group of eight that once led by three minutes and still enjoyed nearly a minute's advantage after it splintered at the final intermediate sprint with 15 km to go. Schär said he felt good despite not having raced since Flèche Wallonne more than a month ago. "After the sprint, I was able to go with the two strongest riders of the group and at one moment, I thought we could do it," Schär said. "But the big teams were chasing and there was no chance." Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol Team) was judged the stage winner in a photo finish after runner-up Danilo Napolitano (Acqua & Sapone) celebrated what he believed was his own victory. Blythe said teammates Marcus Burghardt and Manuel Quinziato delivered him to the final kilometer in good position. "When the sprint started, I didn't really have the kick to go," he said. "But I guess that's from not racing in awhile. Accelerating out of every corner was what wore me out today. So hopefully I'll get used to that and then everything will come a little bit easier and it might make the difference at the end."

Click here to listen to complete comments from Adam Blythe and Michael Schär on the BMC Racing Team AudioLine.