Per favore scelga la sua nazione e lingua
Italia, Italiano

team news

Ben Hermans's third-place finish was his second-best result of the season. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Ben Hermans's third-place finish was his second-best result of the season. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

USA Pro Challenge, Stage 1: Hermans Third

19. agosto 2014

Ben Hermans's third-place finish led five BMC Racing Team riders in the top 15 on Monday's opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge.

'Was Completely Blocked'
Hermans finished three seconds behind stage winner Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) and runner-up Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp). The pair slipped a group of about two dozen riders on the final corners of the run-in to downtown Aspen. Fourth-place overall last week at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Hermans said he was given the green light to chase the leading pair in the final kilometer. "Some guys who were with me to chase back the front guys lost my wheel in the corner, so I was alone – about 20 or 30 meters from the first two guys," he said. "I came very close in the last corner to start the sprint, but I was completely blocked. At altitude, it is difficult to recover in one or two corners. So I could not sprint anymore." After Hermans, teammate Michael Schär was seventh, Brent Bookwalter was ninth, Tejay van Garderen was 11th and Peter Stetina was 15th. All four arrived 12 seconds after the stage winner.

'I Responded Really Well'
Van Garderen said he made a smooth return to racing in the 98-kilometer race. The USA Pro Challenge's defending champion had not raced since Aug. 2 at Clasica San Sebastian following a fifth-place finish at the Tour de France. "I felt good," van Garderen said. "A couple weeks without racing, sometimes you have to blow out the lungs and dust off the cobwebs. But I feel like I responded really well." Van Garderen said the team's strategy to use specific riders to mark other teams' leaders went accordingly to plan. "We are trying to spread out our options a little bit and I think it worked out perfectly in the end," he said. "Everyone who gained a little time on me, I am pretty confident Ben Hermans can beat. And everyone who is on my time, I am pretty confident that I can beat. So that really spreads out our chances to win this race."

'Gives Us More Options'
Sport Director Jackson Stewart said it was good to see so many BMC Racing Team riders make the front group when the pace quickened on the last of two trips up the climb of McClain Flats. "I think the guys are a little disappointed because they did not get the stage win and lost a few seconds, Stewart said. "But neither is the end of the world." Hermans's third-place finish was second only to his runner-up result on the Stage 4 climb to Powder Mountain in Utah last week. "We came here with a strong team," Stewart said. "Just like in Utah, we know we have guys who can ride at the same level. So it gives us more options. This was good for Ben. He has had some good results. It will be good to see how it pans out."

Listen to complete comments from Hermans, Stewart and van Garderen on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

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

Watch videos from the race on BMC Racing Team's YouTube channel.