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Steve Cummings (left) and Greg Van Avermaet cruised along during a calmer point in the race. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Steve Cummings (left) and Greg Van Avermaet cruised along during a calmer point in the race. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Eneco Tour of Benelux, Stage 1: Gilbert Into Top 10

11. August 2014

Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team earned a one-second time bonus to work his way into the top 10 after a nervous opening stage of the Eneco Tour of Benelux on Monday.

'Did Not Cost Me Much Energy'
Gilbert said he was still feeling the effects of racing to a fourth-place finish Sunday in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. But the past world road champion was in a good enough position to take third in the final time bonus sprint six kilometers from the end of the 183.1-km race. "When I saw the opportunity to take one second, I went for it," Gilbert said. "It is always better to have a one-second advantage on those behind me and it did not cost me much energy." Plans to set Silvan Dillier up for the sprint did not go as planned, though, after Dillier was involved in one of several crashes in the final kilometers in a race that featured wind, rain and even bright sunshine at times. "I was in a good place, just on the wheel of Greg Van Avermaet," Dillier said. "We went through a roundabout and I slipped away. Then I had to wait to get back to my bike. Then it was really hard to get back to the peloton. I was chasing hard but I could not make it."

'Very Turbulent Final'
Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Team) took the win ahead of Yohann Gene (Team Europcar) and Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida). After the inclusion of time bonuses at the finish, Guardini is nine seconds ahead of Gilbert, who stands seventh. Gilbert said memories of what happened at this race a year ago fuel his desire to go for a top result. "Last year, I had the legs to win this race, but I crashed on the stage in the Ardennes," he said. "So if I can take revenge on the past, it will be nice." BMC Racing Team Sport Director Allan Peiper said things were going well until Dillier's crash. "Unfortunately, when he crashed, the guys were spread all over the place," he said. "It was a very turbulent finale, with the wind turning around on the coast."

Listen to complete comments from Dillier, Gilbert and Peiper on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos of the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.