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BMC Racing Team's Marcus Burghardt was in the middle of the big bunch that was charging to the line. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
BMC Racing Team's Marcus Burghardt was in the middle of the big bunch that was charging to the line. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Volta a Catalunya, Stage 1: Burghardt Seventh

24. March 2014

BMC Racing Team's Marcus Burghardt finished seventh in the bunch sprint that capped Monday's opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

The Course:
Three categorized climbs were included in the final 60 kilometers of the 169.7-km race that started and finished in Calella.

The Day's Breakaway:
Two riders – Romain LeMarchand (Cofodis, Solutions Credits) and Boris Vallee (Lotto Belisol) – ventured off in the first 15 km and were later joined by Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), who bridged a nearly minute-long gap. But all three were caught with 20 km to go.

A Late Escape:
Another trio of riders – Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale), Romain Hardy (Cofodis, Solutions Credits) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling) – slipped the peloton on the descent of the final climb but they were also swept up as the race reached the outskirts of Calella.

The Finish:
Luka Mezgec (Team Giant-Shimano) took the win ahead of Leigh Howard (ORICA-GreenEDGE) and Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) as 162 of the 176 riders in the race finished in the same time as the winner.

What Burghardt Said:
"The team did a pretty good job, especially Sammy Sánchez, who worked well for me in the final. He helped me stay out of the wind and brought me into a good position. In the last meters, I was coming back pretty good, but I was missing the real punch to get in the top five and get some points."

What Sport Director Yvon Ledanois Said:
"This race is not easy but we have Tejay van Garderen and Samuel for the GC (general classification). So I would like for this race – and the next races – good team spirit. I think it's the key for a good result. I saw the guys always in a good position. Just before the downhill, Samuel talked to Tejay and the guys and told them that was the moment. It was perfect. I also asked Marcus this morning that if he had the legs to go for the sprint. It's always good to have a good finish for the car position."

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

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