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Philippe Gilbert (center) featured in two breakaways. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Philippe Gilbert (center) featured in two breakaways. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

La Drôme Classic: Gilbert Ninth

2. March 2014

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert followed up his third-place finish Saturday at Classic Sud Ardèche with ninth place on Sunday at La Drôme Classic.

The Course:
Starting and finishing in Valence, the 189-kilometer race included three laps of a circuit that featured several short – but steep – climbs.

Always In The Breakaway:
A number of breakaways formed, each including one or more riders from the BMC Racing Team: a 52-rider move featured Yannick Eijssen, Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert; an 18-rider escape included Ben Hermans, and finally a chase group of a six-man breakaway also featured Gilbert.

The Winning Move:
Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) soloed out of the leading group with about 12 km to go to win by nine seconds. Sébastian Delfosse (Wallonia-Brussels) won the 12-man sprint for second ahead of Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

What Gilbert Said:
"It was a crazy race today – a lot of action, a lot of groups going on – and I was always trying to stay in front. Then, at the end, it was this last group and we thought it was over. I attacked on a last steep climb that we did four times. This made the last selection. I was trying to be smart at the end, but it was not easy. The last five kilometers, I had a strange feeling. I think with the cold, I did not eat enough. I felt in the sprint I was not going as well as normal."

What Sport Director Yvon Ledanois Said:
"There was one very strong team today – AG2R. But we always had one rider in the breakaway. I think for the strategy, it was better that in the finale, we had Philippe. With the contour of the course, it was one good result."

Listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Ledanois on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.