Albasini second from bunch sprint at GP du canton dâ€™ArgovieThu 11 Jun 2015
Two-time winner Michael Albasini settled for second place from a bunch sprint at GP du canton d’Argovie in his home country of Switzerland today.
The 2011 and 2013 champion was protected by a depleted six-man ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit all day but Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) proved too powerful in the final kick to the line.
“Second place in a race like this is fantastic but it was a clear winner in Kristoff who is a very in-form and fast bike rider,” sport director Neil Stephens said.
“At the end of a tough race a bunch kick is good for Michael, especially in Switzerland, but we are happy to win the battle to be on the podium behind a great bike rider.”
Six riders formed the one-day race’s main break that saw the peloton complete 15laps of a 12km circuit.
ORICA-GreenEDGE sent troops to control and chase alongside BMC Racing Team before a large secondary move briefly formed on the final lap before it all came back together for a reduced bunch kick.
“We were up against it from the start with only six riders instead of eight, but we had the motivation with Albasini and some guys here in good form and motivated to do their best,” Stephens said.
“Right from the start attacks started and we had to decide what to do. We decided to let the break go and with our two strong guys in Svein Tuft and Mathew Hayman, we got on the front with BMC and controlled the race for 100-120km.
“The last three laps were where the race really started to liven up. The break was back, Sam Bewley took over from our earlier workers and we briefly got a move there with Cameron Meyer, Simon Clarke and Albasini all working in it before it came back for the sprint.”
The racing in Switzerland continues from Saturday with the Tour de Suisse. ORICA-GreenEDGE’s line-up and preview will be available online tomorrow morning.