ORICA-SCOTT animate the breakaway and come close with a late attack in Ordizia

Tue 25 Jul 2017

In the end a third victory was to elude ORICA-SCOTT at the 94th Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika, despite riding a tactically astute race and controlling both the early breakaway and the late attack the Australian outfit had to settle for a top ten finish.

2015 Clasica San Sebastian winner Adam Yates came close again in the Basque Country today sealing a top ten finish after the Briton’s late attack was painfully caught in the final kilometre by a chasing bunch aiming to bring about the sprint finish.

Sergey Shilov (Lokosphinx) took a narrow victory as Yates redoubled his effort and joined the sprint for the line on what proved to be a frustrating day for ORICA-SCOTT with Rob Power the team’s best-placed finisher in fifth.

The Australian WorldTour team had stuck well to their race plan, getting Simon Gerrans, Chris Juul Jensen and Magnus Cort in the large early breakaway and tactically were not found wanting. Sport director Neil Stephens praised the efforts of the team and lamented an unfortunate finale.

“We knew from the start that there would be a strong and competitive field for this race,” said Stephens. “And that’s exactly what we found form the off, we were on the front foot from the early kilometres and followed our plan by getting three guys up the road in the breakaway.”

“Simon, Chris and Magnus all did a great job for us up there and what was pleasing was that they are all guys who can climb, but also mix it well in a fast finish. That relieved a lot of the pressure early on and gave us options with Magnus in particular doing a great job to push on solo into the final lap.

“However once things came back together we reverted back to our original plan to go with Adam. He attacked in the same place as Simon did last year and was even quicker up the final climb, we were perhaps a little unfortunate that the bunch were better orgnaised this year and made the catch.

“Full praise to the team and Rob at the end there it’s a tough position to be in waiting for a sprint that might not materialise then being ready to launch when it happens very late. We had he hit out that we wanted to, we didn’t get the win, but the boys are in great shape and looking forward to the next race.”

How it happened:

An overcast and wet morning welcomed the riders to the 94th edition of the Ordiziako Klasika with attacks animating from the flag drop and move of 23riders attempting to break clear early on.

After two laps of the undulating circuit ORICA-SCOTT had three men up the road in the break with a lead of around two minutes on the chasing peloton.

Gerrans and Juul Jensen were two of the riders out front in the large breakaway group and at the halfway point their advantage was holding at around two and a half minutes.

The lead began to fall through the feed zone, standing at 40seconds as the race hit the final 45kilometres before the breakaway group started to fall apart as Cort attacked from the front followed by one other rider.

Cort attacked with gusto and attempted to push on alone into the final lap, but was caught by the bunch with less than 15kilometres remaining.

Yates was next to attack, picking his moment well and quickly gaining around 20seconds. The bunch did not give up and Yates was caught with only 100metres to go as Shilov won the reduced bunch kick for the line.

Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika results:

1. Sergey Shilov (Lokosphinx) 03:53:03

2. Benjamin Prades (UKYO) ST

3. Dimitri Strakhov (Lokosphinx) ST

5. Rob Power (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

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