BMC Development Team’s Eisenhart Remains Best Young Rider
BMC Development Team’s Jakub Novak slipped out of the overall lead and into third Friday at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, while teammate TJ Eisenhart held onto the best young rider’s jersey with two stages to go.
Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly Cycling presented by Kenda) won the 147-kilometer race to earn a 10-second time bonus and take his second straight stage. Novak and Eisenhart arrived in a group 17 seconds later, allowing Tvetcov to take the overall lead by eight seconds over Chad Haga (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) and by nine over Novak. Eisenhart said the BMC Development Team was on the defensive, especially in the final 35 km of uphill to the finish. “The whole day everyone was just constantly attacking us,” he said. “We were working our hearts out to bring things back and then race to the bottom of the climb in good position. (Two-time defending champion) Paco Mancebo attacked with 7 km to go and it was an explosive attack we weren’t able to go with. Immediately, I went to the front to set tempo for Jakub and keep the gap close and try to bring it back.”
Two Stages Remaining
BMC Development Team General Manager Rik Verbrugghe said he was impressed with the team’s efforts to hold the lead. While most teams started the race with eight riders, the BMC Development Team started with six. “It was a very fast race, with lots of attacks,” he said. “In the end, it was the strongest guys who stayed in the front. But we did a good job today.” Verbrugghe said it will be difficult to take back time in Saturday night’s 75-minute criterium through Downtown Bend, but did not rule out possibilities for taking back time in Sunday’s 133-km circuit race. “The 10-second bonification made the difference today and the last stage will be a hard one,” Verbrugghe said. “So there is still a possibility of doing something on the general classification.”