An aggressive Team BikeExchange were rewarded for their efforts with a strong third place for Colombian Esteban Chaves at the GP Gippingen today.
The squad took control of the race as soon as an early three-rider breakaway established, with Alexander Konychev and Luke Durbridge tasked with controlling the gap. The team then launched a flurry of attacks over a number of laps with Amund Grøndahl Jansenand Chaves both briefly going clear.
Despite the attacks, the race came down to a showdown on the last lap, as Chaves bridged across to two attackers after his initial attack drew a select group clear. The trio then extended their advantage over the peloton, with Michael Matthews sat poised in the bunch should the leaders be reeled in before the finish.
However, with no concerted chase behind, the trio of leaders raced towards the finish, with a three-up sprint set to decide the winner. Chaves positioned himself in third wheel, but as the sprint opened up, he was unable to come around his rivals as Ide Schelling took the victory on the line.
Esteban Chaves (3rd):
“The result was really nice, after a training block at altitude and then coming down, you miss at bit of the speed of the race, you can feel it in the first two hours of racing but after that then it is quickly getting better.
Obviously you always want to win, especially when it is on the table but today they were stronger than me.
We raced really well as a team, we took control, we raced from the beginning, we raced at the front and attacking all the time.
It is really nice to race in a group like this and it gives us a lot of confidence for the races coming up, like the Tour of Swiss starting very soon.”
Mat Hayman (Sport Director):
“We came here with a really strong team and obviously a lot of teams were looking at us, with us having the likes of Matthews and Chaves. So, the plan was, with Nizzolo and Ackermann still there in the bunch, to try and spice the race up in the final.
It just so happened that Chaves was away with guys that were quicker than him, but hats off to the boys and the way they rode. They controlled the race all day, we tried to make the race hard and we tried to create opportunities.
We backed Chaves in the final, it was always going to be tough and it wasn’t to be. But I think it was a really good hit out for the Tour de Suisse and it shows the boys are in great form, the teamwork they showed today was really good.”
2021 GP Gippingen – Results:
1. Ide Schelling 04:05:45
2. Rui Costa ST
3. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) ST
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.