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Martin Kohler feeling strong for final races of the season (foto by AbbiOrca.com)
Martin Kohler feeling strong for final races of the season (foto by AbbiOrca.com)

Martin Kohler spends day in break, reeled in at last minutes of Franco Belge

4. ottobre 2009

Tournai

Even though the terrain played to the strengths of escape artists, the final stage of the Circuit Franco Belge came down to another battle of the sprinters.  Saxo Bank’s J.J. Haedo finally snagged himself a stage after a number of close calls, while Garmin-Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar added to his season tally by securing the overall victory. 

BMC’s Martin Kohler had an excellent day on the bike, having found his way into the only break of the entire race that looked like it had a chance of succeeding.  Starting out early first with a group of four, Kohler and his three companions were later joined by four more riders.  The group of eight looked very strong and was finally caught only a few kilometers from the finish line. 

The last day for a break

“Though the day once again came down to a mass sprint, we were pretty well placed,” Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.  “Martin was in a break all day with three others.  We could tell that that break would be a good one and the four of them had three minutes on the pack by the time they were entering the final circuits.”  Today’s finishing circuits took the pack five times over a pretty difficult climb which would be the peloton’s last chance to break Garmin’s strangle-hold on the leader board.  “I felt really good the whole week and was disappointed that I had lost so much time yesterday after my mechanical,” Martin Kohler said.  “I was glad to get in the break since I’m still really motivated to do well in these races, but wasn’t certain we would make it to the finish; when the second group of four joined us though, it felt like we might just have a chance.”  A group of four more riders separated themselves from the main pack, managing to bridge up to the first four.  “The counter-group of four had some very strong riders in it like Lars Bak (Saxo Bank), so we were very happy to have Martin there too,” Lelangue said.  “They held a minute and a half advantage for most of the circuits, but on the final lap the peloton really started to shut things down.” 

Inescapable

“We worked together like we had a chance, but on the last climb with under 10 kilometers to go, the chasing peloton came up on us very quickly,” Kohler explained.  “Just when we were caught, Boonen attacked and there was nothing we could do.”  Many of BMC’s biggest successes have come as a result of cagey racing in breakaways.  Though Sunday’s escape didn’t make it to the line, it did add to BMC’s reputation as one of the most sagely aggressive teams in the peloton.  “Though the break didn’t come to anything in the end, and Danilo didn’t place too highly in the mass sprint, it was a good way to close out this race,” Lelangue said.  “We would have liked to make a top ten placing, but to have been in the race’s best break is very important too, and now we will turn our attentions to our last race of the season at Paris Tours.”  Kohler, who will also be racing Paris Tours, agreed: “After having been sick all last week, I was really happy to have felt so well during this race,” he said.  “This gives me hope that I will be able to do a good Paris Tours and finish the season on a high note.”