Twitter
Facebook
Googleplus
Linkedin

BMC Racing Team's Rohan Dennis and Cadel Evans avoided injury in a crash in the finishing straight Friday to keep their places in the top two spots on the overall classification at the Santos Tour Down Under.

Neither rider went down in the pile-up that happened fewer than 300 meters from the finish of the 144.5-kilometer stage that was won by Australian national criterium champion Steele Von Hoff (UniSA-Australia). BMC Racing Team's Michael Schär, who was escorting Evans, said the downhill sprint made for a more dangerous situation.

"The speed was very, very fast in the peloton – I think we were going over 60 or 70 kilometers an hour," the past Swiss national road champion said. "Some guys just took too many risks and they went down. I was right behind Cadel and we were sprinting full gas and just hoping we wouldn't go down. Luckily, we stayed upright and everything was fine."

With two days of the race to go, Dennis leads Evans by seven seconds. Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin) is third at nine seconds, while Daryl Impey (ORICA-GreenEDGE) finished runner-up to Von Hoff and earned a total of nine bonus seconds on the day to move from 10th to fourth, 13 seconds back.

Dennis said his first day in the ochre leader's jersey was a smooth one, thanks to the help of his five teammates.

"It was a hectic day, a bit stressful," he said. "But the team was great. They really rode well together and kept me out of trouble whenever it was stressful. They protected me perfectly."

Saturday's penultimate stage finishes atop Old Willunga Hill. The stage was pivotal in last year's race in which Evans lost the overall lead by a single second to eventual winner Simon Gerrans (ORICA-GreenEDGE) while Richie Porte (Team Sky) took the stage win. Porte sits in fifth overall, 15 seconds back of Dennis.

"Our goal is to get both Cadel and me on the podium as one and two," Dennis said. "There is no definite leader. What we want to do is strive to be one and two at the finish and try to pull off the team classification. The one thing in cycling is that you have to risk everything to win everything. It is risky, but it is definitely possible – with Cadel's form, with my form and with the team we have."

The BMC Racing Team remains the leader in the Virgin Australia team standings while Dennis also holds the lead in the Cycle Instead "young rider" competition.

Last weekend the third and last World Cup of the track season took place in Cali, Colombia. Jasper De Buyst conquered the silver medal. In the first World Cup in Guadalajara he had to abandon because of a crash and in London he finished as eighth. Nonetheless in the overall ranking of the World Cup De Buyst got second as well. The omnium at the World Cup is spread over two days. On day one the riders ride the scratch, individual pursuit and elimination. The second day the time trial (1 kilometre), flying lap and points race are scheduled.

Strong start
De Buyst started strong on Saturday with a second place in the scratch and a second place in the individual pursuit. Then he got tenth in the elimination. After the first day De Buyst was second in the classification. The 1-kilometre time trial and flying lap made him fall back to place four, but he gained two places in the points race.

Rio 2016
In Cali De Buyst gathered important points for the Olympic Games of Rio 2016. Belgium is ninth in the UCI Olympic Track ranking at the moment and the fifth European country. To qualify a rider for the omnium a country has to be in the top 18 and only a maximum number of eight Europeans can participate.

Reassuring
Jasper De Buyst: “This silver medal was welcome, certainly because I need the points for the Olympics. This is reassuring. I started well, with two second places. Usually I don’t start that strongly. In the elimination I only got tenth, that’s where I lost gold. Tactically I made some wrong choices and then it can go fast. Still, I thought about the gold medal at the end of the first day. The second day the points race is the most important event, each point counts. As a road cyclist the points race, of forty kilometres, suits me best.”

Unexpected second overall
“That I am second in the overall classification of the World Cup omnium is unexpected, certainly because I abandoned in the first round. Last year I won the overall, now I didn’t think I’d set a high result. Because of the circumstances I don’t look back with a good feeling on this World Cup season. In the first round I had bad luck, you can’t change that. In London I felt really bad. I had ridden the Six Days of Ghent with a broken nose and back problems, that had its consequences. That’s why I didn’t perform well in the second World Cup and I definitely wanted to set a good result in Cali.”

World Championships track (18th – 22nd February)
“At the moment I’m pretty safe for the Olympics, but there are important points to gain at the World Championships in February. I’m really motivated. First I’ll ride the Six Days of Copenhagen (29th January – 3rdFebruary, LTS), together with Marc Hester.

Learn More