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BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney was on the podium as the Lotto Sprint competition leader. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney was on the podium as the Lotto Sprint competition leader. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Eneco Tour, Stage 2: Gilbert Runner-Up; Phinney Is Sprint Leader

13. August 2013

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert finished second and teammate Taylor Phinney was eighth and took the lead in the Lotto Sprint competition Tuesday at the Eneco Tour of Benelux.

Gilbert Third Overall, Phinney Sixth
BMC Racing Team's Daniel Oss brought Gilbert to the front halfway up the steep, uphill finish at the end of the 176.9-kilometer race. "It was perfect," Gilbert, the world road champion, said. "I thought this would be my moment. I had to do a sprint of 200 meters uphill, which I normally can. But (Arnaud) Démare came pretty fast and I couldn't respond." Démare took the race lead from Mark Renshaw (Belkin Pro Cycling Team), whose puncture in the final three kilometers took him out of contention for the sprint. Gilbert is now third overall overall, four seconds behind Démare and one second behind Renshaw, while Phinney is sixth, eight seconds off the lead. Gilbert added to his string of runner-up placings that already included the Belgian national time trial championship on Sunday, Stage 6 of Paris-Nice in March and Brabantse Pijl in April. "I'm good, the condition is good," he said. "I'm certainly missing the win. I'm always pretty close. Being second or third is not so nice and doesn't count."

Sprint Jersey A Surprise
Phinney, who finished a team-best sixth place on Monday's opening stage, said it was a "nervous, stressful" stage that saw a four-man breakaway reduced to three before being brought back in the final 10 km. "I was well taken care of by Manuel Quinziato especially," Phinney said. "In the end, Oss, Klaas Lodewyck, Danilo Wyss and Amaël Moinard were all riding the front. So that was very helpful to keep everything together for Phil and me in the end." Phinney said he knew the finish favored Gilbert more than him. "I was just staying safe up there for the overall, making sure I didn't lose any time," he said. "I guess I'm in the points jersey now. It's a bit of a surprise, but a good way to start the race." BMC Racing Team's Marcus Burghardt did not start the stage due to a fever, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini said.

Listen to complete comments from Gilbert (Dutch, French) and Phinney on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.