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BMC Racing Team riders like Steve Cummings worked hard to help chase down breakaways. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
BMC Racing Team riders like Steve Cummings worked hard to help chase down breakaways. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Gilbert Eighth At Liège-Bastogne-Liège

27. aprile 2014

BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert finished eighth Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège after Samuel Sánchez was the last of several teammates who worked hard to chase down breakaway riders in the final spring classic of the season.

The Course:
Spanning 263 kilometers from Liège to Ans, the 100th edition of the race featured 10 significant climbs, including the Côte de La Redoute – which featured "Phil" painted on its slopes dozens of times.

The Day's Breakaway:
Six riders gained a lead of nearly 16 minutes before the peloton gave chase. Steve Cummings, Marcus Burghardt, Peter Velits and Ben Hermans were among the BMC Racing Team riders prominently contributing to the chase as the last of the escapees was caught with 20 km to go.

A Late Escape:
Gianpaolo Caruso (Katusha Team) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) attacked with 5.6 km to go and built a 16-second lead. Hermans and then Sánchez led the chase of a group containing Gilbert into the final kilometers. "I worked a lot in La Roche-aux-Faucons, Saint-Nicolas and in Ans," Sánchez said. "The final we saw was good, but it is important that we win the race."

The Podium:
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) dodged defending champion Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp), who slid out in the last turn, and held off runner-up Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished third.

What Gilbert Said:
"The final was fast but controlled. We always stayed together with a big group. All the leaders had some teammates around them (so) it was difficult to try something. The favorites were always together. (On the last climb), I looked back and I saw everyone was on the limit and it was 10 percent (gradient). So I thought if I tried something I could make the difference, as Daniel Martin did last year. But I didn't have the legs for it today."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"It was a good performance from the team in general. We went in all the action and controlled the race from the beginning. In the final, Philippe was good, but not good enough to win. Samuel Sánchez and Ben Hermans were very strong in the final kilometers."

Listen to comments from Gilbert (Dutch), Sánchez and Piva (Dutch and English) on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

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