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Silvan Dillier drove a late breakaway that nearly made it to the finish. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Silvan Dillier drove a late breakaway that nearly made it to the finish. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Hushovd Ninth At Gent-Wevelgem

30. March 2014

BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd finished ninth Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem after teammates Silvan Dillier and Sebastian Lander figured in breakaways – with Dilier's move only being caught inside the final kilometer.

The Course:
Starting in Deinze, the 233-kilometer race included nine milestone climbs, including two ascents each of the Casselberg, Baneberg, Monteberg and the Kemmelberg.

The Day's Breakaway:
Lander was joined in the long breakaway of the day by Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jacobus Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). The escapees started to split up as the climbs took their toll and the last of them was brought back with 35 km to go.

A Major Move:
Silvan Dillier, who was a late addition to the BMC Racing Team's line-up (replacing Daniel Oss), first bridged to a group trying to go clear of the peloton with 57 km to go. Last year's Tour de Normandie winner showed his strength the last time up the Monteberg and eventually attacked the peloton and only Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) could go with him. But after seeing their advantage peak at 35 seconds with 10 km to go, the trio was caught just as it crossed beneath the one-kilometer-to-go kite.

The Finish:
John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano) won a bunch sprint ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) as Hushovd notched his third career top 10 finish.

What Hushovd Said:
(Ninth place) was kind of a relief after a confusing Friday (at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke) when I had a bad day on the bike. But first of all, I am happy that we raced well together as a team… Silvan was attacking a couple times and almost made it to the finish. I wish I could have been a little bit better in the sprint – top five – and then maybe I would be really happy. I think today, as a team, we should be really proud of ourselves."

What Dillier Said:
"We tried with 30 km to go, but there were still some sprinters in the peloton. And they worked for a bunch sprint. I am happy with my condition and we will see how it goes in the future. In the breakaway (with Devolder and Amador) everyone had what they had. Stijn was impressive. And I also gave everything I had, but it was one kilometer too long."

What Lander Said:
"I think every time I hit the breakaway, it lasts at least 200 kilometers. It is a long day of course. It is always nice to hit the breakaway because it gives a little bit of a break for the team. It was a tough day but I am happy."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"It was one kilometer too long. But our guys were in the race from the first breakaway and everybody was in good position. It was not a selective race – because there was no wind. Dillier was unbelievable and strong. He tried one time in the circuit of the Kemmelberg and then again in the final, he was impressive. The rest behind tried to bring Thor in the sprint. We decided to give the chance to him because normally he's the fastest and Greg had crashed on the descent of the Kemmelberg. But I am happy about our performance today. If we continue like this, I am sure we will have a nice victory in the future."

Injury Report:
Two riders were involved in significant crashes. Greg Van Avermaet went down on the second descent of the Kemmelberg, while Klaas Lodewyck was involved in a pile-up in the final few hundred meters. Both of them suffered road rash, but no significant injuries, Dr. Spinelli said.

Listen to complete comments on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team Flickr gallery.