BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney and Philippe Gilbert saw their top 10 positions shuffled in the overall classification at the Eneco Tour of Benelux Wednesday after three riders finished two seconds ahead of the peloton in what was expected to be a bunch sprint finish.
Phinney Involved In Crash
Gilbert slid from third to fifth overall, four seconds behind race leader Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr), while Phinney is now eighth, at eight seconds. Both BMC Racing Team riders were part of the peloton that finished two seconds behind three riders who broke away just outside the final kilometer of the 187.3-km race. The late escape marked the second significant split in the peloton during the stage. The first occurred about 100 kilometers from the finish, not long after a crash took down Phinney. That incident, combined with a split in the peloton in strong crosswinds, caught out all but two BMC Racing Team riders – Gilbert and teammate Klaas Lodewyck. Phinney said the crash happened in a moment where he thought he was safe, riding near the front. “Some guys touched wheels, it’s nervous in the bunch, so there’s a lot of really heavy, sudden braking and I found myself on the wrong side of somebody’s wheel,” he said. After finishing 60th on the stage, Phinney said his injuries appeared to be minor. “The road rash isn’t too bad,” he said, “but I hit my head a little bit and I’ve got to be careful of that because I have had head injuries in the past. But I don’t think it is anything too bad.”
Valuable Help From Teammates
Following a chase of more than 40 kilometers, with the time gap between the front group of about two dozen riders and the chasing peloton hovering between 15 and 25 seconds, the two groups came together with 57 km to go. Phinney thanked his teammates for helping him regain the field, first after the crash, and then after the split. “Danilo Wyss brought me back and then Daniel Oss, Amaël Moinard, Manuel Quinziato and again, Danilo, rode really hard to make it back,” he said. “I’m really thankful to them.” Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the stage ahead of Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling Team). Andre Greipel, who finished fifth, replaced Phinney as the race’s Lotto Sprint competition leader. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said the team did a good job to recover from the crash and chase back. “It was not an easy day,” he said. “It was very nervous and for the last 60 kilometers, the whole team was at the front.”