Strong performances by ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Boucles Drome ArdecheSun 28 Feb 2016
2015 Classica San Sebastian winner Adam Yates has finished in the top ten for the second time in two days, placing sixth at La Drome Classic after another day of fast and aggressive racing in the Ardeche region of France.
The race was won by Czech champion Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep), claiming his second victory of the weekend at the Boucles Drome Ardeche.
Sports Director Dave McPartland was pleased with the team’s performace over the two races.
“We can be very satisfied with our performances here over the weekend," McPartland said. "We raced solidly as a team and Adam was unfortunate again today not to make it onto the podium.”
“It was another fast and quite stressful start to the race on small roads which settled down once the break had gotten away. The peloton sat on for the first 100 kilometres or so and the race really got going for us with about 50 kilometres to go.”
In what was almost a carbon copy scenario of the previous day’s race, Yates was in an excellent position approaching the finish with a familiar group of riders.
“We set Adam up really well going into the final climb and he was in a strong position, but just got edged out on the slight to descent to the finish line," McPartland continued.
“The team were very controlled throughout and we can build on the positives from these races."
How it happened:
A cold morning in Livron welcomed the riders to the start line for what proved to be a consecutive day of fast racing with average speeds consistently over 43 kph. The early breakaway formed with four riders, quickly gaining a lead of over four minutes on the peloton.
The main group remained calm and the race was relatively uneventful approaching the 50 kilometres to go marker. Etixx-Quickstep started to take control of the race and the gap to the leaders began to fall significantly, standing at one minute and thirty seconds at the start of the last lap.
Once the breakaway had been caught the attacks started to come thick and fast. Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) attempted a move that didn’t hold with around 15 kilometres to go. Almost as soon as the duo had been caught Jan Bakelants (AG2R) decided to make a bid for glory in the last five kilometres but the front group came together and reeled him in.
The last climb of the day was right on the doorstep of the finish and the right move here proved to be decisive. ORICA-GreenEDGE were together going into the climb and put Yates into an excellent position amongst the front runners.
Vakoc (Etixx-Quicktep) and Bakelants (AG2R) attacked on the descent and gained a valuable few metres on the rest of the leaders. Vakoc held on to take the win with Bakelants coming in second and Arthur Vichot (FDJ) taking the final podium spot with Yates finishing closely behind in sixth place.
The next race for ORICA-GreenEDGE is Strade Bianche in Italy on Saturday the 5th of March.
La Drome Classic results:
1. Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep) 5:08:57
2. Jan Bakelants (AG2R) ST
3. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) +6sec
6. Adam Yates (OGE) +6sec