Keukeleire sprints onto the podium in GP Bruno Beghelli

Sun 25 Sep 2016

Vuelta a España stage winner Jens Keukeleire sprinted to third place today in the second one-day Italian race of the weekend, GP Bruno Beghelli.

After yesterday’s victory with Esteban Chaves, ORICA-BikeExchange were hungry for more success and displayed great teamwork, making a huge effort to split the peloton down to just 37riders in the final part of the race.

The Australian outfit continued to work hard to set up their designated sprinter Magnus Cort, but after becoming caught out inside the final kilometre, it was up to Keukeleire to take on the sprint.

The Belgian rider did incredibly well to finish in third place despite the last minute change as Nicola Ruffini (Bardiani-CFS) claiming the victory.

Sport director Dave McPartland was very happy with the team’s commitment, making and executing a plan out on the road to finish on the podium and round up a successful weekend for the squad.

“Inside the last kilometre Cort got a caught back a little bit,” said McPartland. “With around 400metres to go Keukeleire realised he had to sprint for himself.” 

“He’s done really well to finish in third place considering we had to quickly change the plan and also getting caught on the wheel of a rider who was going nowhere. It was a huge effort to end up on the podium, so great riding from him.

“The real impressive thing today was how we made the decision out on the road to split up the race and the guys showed real commitment and did it perfectly. 

“Their efforts made a huge different, reducing the large peloton of around 150riders down to just 37 and then still being well represented in the front. It was very impressive riding.”

How it happened:

The second race in the series of one-day Italian races, the GP Bruno Beghelli opened up like yesterday’s race with a predominately flat first 60kilometres. 

Soon after the start flag was dropped the action began with a seven-man break establishing inside the first 20kilometres of racing.

The escapees worked well together to opened up their advantage to over four minutes as they worked their way around the course.  

Once on to the final ten finishing laps, which included a tricky one kilometre climb, their lead began to slowly drop down. After their efforts the leaders were eventually swallowed up with just 30kilometres remaining.

With the peloton consisting of many fast riders ORICA-BikeExchange decided to take the race into their own hands and made a huge effort over the climb to split the bunch. Successfully doing so, the peloton shattered and diminished down to just 37 riders creating many tired legs.

ORICA-BikeExchanged were very well represented and placed themselves at the fore and continued to keep the pace high ready for a bunch sprint. 

In final kilometres Cort and Keukeleire lost positions and with just 400metres to go Keukeleire had to take the sprint on with Cort caught a little further back. 

With just one-day to rest the team are back in action again on Tuesday 27th in Tre Valle. 

GP Bruno Beghelli results:

1. Nicola Ruffini (Bardiani-CFS) 4:25:21

2. Filippo Pozzato (Wilier-Southeast) ST

3. Jens Keukeleire (ORICA-BikeExchange) ST