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Philippe Gilbert was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Philippe Gilbert was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Gilbert 16th At Liège-Bastogne-Liège

22. April 2012

A strong display of teamwork by the BMC Racing Team set up Philippe Gilbert's 16th place finish Sunday at a windy, rain-soaked edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.


'Gave It All I Had'
Brent Bookwalter did the bulk of the chasing of an early breakaway before Tejay van Garderen took over on the climb of La Redoute to whittle the peloton down to fewer than 50 riders. From there, Mauro Santambrogio took over the pacemaking as the last remnants of what was an eight-man breakaway at its maximum was reeled in. But coming off the second-to-last descent of the day, Gilbert could not follow an attack by eventual runner-up Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), who was eventually overtaken by solo race winner Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana Pro Team). "I have no regrets, the team did a terrific work around me and I gave it all I had, so I have no regrets," Gilbert said. "As always, the race was really hard this year due to the wind and the breakaway that created some chaos in the peloton. It's always the strongest men who win here. So if I was not here to contest the finish, that means that I was missing a bit."

Plan Was Well-Executed
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the team's plan to keep a large breakaway from going away early, while protecting Gilbert until the final 20 kilometers, did work well. "We knew the battle would be every-man-for-himself after the Côte de La Roche aux Faucons and we were in front in great shape," Lelangue said. "Unfortunately, Philippe was missing a little bit of power and couldn't finish the job." Five BMC Racing Team riders from Sunday's race – Bookwalter, Martin Kohler, Klaas Lodewyck, Amaël Moinard and van Garderen – will start the Tour de Romandie Tuesday with defending champion Cadel Evans.

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