Silvan Dillier of the BMC Development Team rode into the overall lead at the Tour de Normandie Friday by finishing with a group of 10 others, 23 seconds after Stage 4 winner Anthony Charteau (Team Europcar). With two stages to go, the past Swiss national Under 23 road champion holds a seven-second lead over previous race leader Alexandre Blain (Team Raleigh).
Strong Team Effort
Having only raced at the GP Lillers earlier this month, Dillier said he was uncertain of his form heading into the week-long French race. But he finished seventh in Sunday’s 3.4 km prologue and was third on Stage 3 Wednesday to move into third overall, 13 seconds off the lead. “I really expected to be in good shape here so now I’m happy it’s going well,” Dillier said. “For sure, there is a bit of pressure now, but we have to stay cool and do our best and, in the end, we will see what we can do. Tomorrow will be a difficult stage. But the whole team will stay together in front.” In Friday’s 155-kilometer stage, the BMC Development Team led the chase of a breakaway of 16 riders that eventually shattered after reaching the finishing circuit. “We didn’t panic and the guys did a really good job today,” BMC Development Team General Manager Rik Verbrugghe said. “They rode perfectly, as they have since the start of the race.”
Bonus Seconds On The Line
Dillier and his small group surged across to the remnants of the escapees in the final kilometers while Blain missed the move and finished 20 seconds behind. Only two stages remain: Saturday’s 183 km race from Gouville-sur-Mer to Bagnoles-de-l’Orne and a 137 km race Sunday from Bagnoles-de-l’Orne to Caen. Verbrugghe said the race could come down to bonus seconds available on Saturday. “Tomorrow will be the hardest stage, but the bonifications might make the difference,” he said. “Blain is a strong sprinter and there’s a 10-second bonus on the line and he is only seven seconds behind. But Silvan is also really fast in the sprint, too.”