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BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd (leading) was part of a breakaway. (©BMC/Graham Waston.)
BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd (leading) was part of a breakaway. (©BMC/Graham Waston.)

Crash Ends BMC Racing Team's Bid At Paris-Roubaix

13. April 2014

A crash with less than 25 kilometers to go dashed the BMC Racing Team's chances Sunday at Paris-Roubaix after Norwegian road champion Thor Hushovd had been part of a key breakaway.

The Course:
Known best for its 51.1 kilometers of cobblestones in 28 sectors, the 257-km race started in Compiègne and finished with a lap of the Roubaix velodrome.

Hushovd In The Breakaway:
With 77 km to go, Hushovd escaped the peloton with seven others, including past winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). The breakaway group built a 45-second lead before being caught by a select group of chasers with 22 km to go.

The Crash:
Just as the pace quickened to reel in Hushovd's group, a crash on a 90-degree turn in the sixth-to-last cobblestone section took down BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet and delayed teammates Marcus Burghardt and Michael Schär. As the BMC Racing Team riders were regaining the back of the peloton, Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) was attacking off the front. "My front wheel slipped and I crashed," Van Avermaet said. "At that moment, I was riding on my limit and then you lose your riding skills and you crash."

The Winning Move:
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) broke away from a group of 11 with six kilometers to go and soloed to the win. John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano) won the sprint for second among the chasers 20 seconds later, ahead of last year's winner, Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).

How BMC Racing Team Riders Finished:
Three riders from the BMC Racing Team were in the top 25: Van Avermaet (17th, at 47 seconds), Hushovd (19th, at 1:05) and Marcus Burghardt (22nd, also at 1:05). Taylor Phinney was 30th and Schär was 34th (both at 2:55) while Danilo Wyss finished 76th (at 7:51) and Manuel Quinziato was 96th (at 9:55). Silvan Dillier crashed twice in 10 km in the early cobblestone sections and did not finish.

What Van Avermaet Said:
"I didn't really have the legs today as last week (in Ronde van Vlaanderen) and a crash cost me strength. Today was not easy. When Cancellara went, I couldn't follow. I wasn't good enough to win today, but I should be able to be in the (first) other group. We came close at the end, but I think my legs weren't good enough to compete for the victory."

What Sport Director Fabio Baldato Said:
"It was really unlucky at one moment when Greg crashed. At the moment he crashed, there was an acceleration by Fabian Cancellara and Sep VanMarcke. Michael Schär did a good job to bring Greg back, but Sagan was already in the front. Thor Hushovd did an amazing job all day. We were a little bit unlucky, for sure. Taylor Phinney had a flat tire and was unable to remain in the second group.

Listen to comments from Baldato, Dillier, Hushovd, Phinney and Van Avermaet (in Dutch) on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

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