BMC Racing Team’s Philippe Gilbert chased valiantly in the uphill dash to the line Thursday at the Santos Tour Down Under but the reigning world road champion could not catch Stage 3 winner Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) and runner-up Matthew Goss (Orica-Greenedge).
Help From Santaromita
After Slagter attacked in the final kilometer, Gilbert received help from teammate Ivan Santaromita to close the gap. “I was with Santaromita so it was peRFECt but then the guy from Movistar left a gap,” Gilbert said. “Slagter had 10 or 15 meters so it was hard to come back.” Santaromita, who finished ninth, is the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider on the general classification, while Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling) held onto the race lead. Gilbert’s chances for the overall classification were dashed by a crash on a twisting descent to the finish Wednesday. Once the 139 kilometer race reached the finishing circuit for five laps, BMC Racing Team’s Steve Morabito worked his way into an eight-man breakaway. His own attack inside 15 km whittled the group down to five but they were swallowed up with 5 km to go. “We never had more than 35 seconds so it was hard to stay away,” Morabito said. “I thought at the end that maybe we could make it, but I think the other guys were tired.”
Listen to complete comments from Gilbert and Morabito on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line: