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"Initially, I came here to help Philippe Gilbert but he had to withdraw shortly before the start. Overall I am very happy with the the race and to finish as best young and also third overall. One can say that I was a good rep...

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)




30.07.2014 @ 19:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Silvan Dillier went into the Tour de Wallonie expecting to play the role of domestique for Philippe Gilbert but after the former world champion withdrew from the race shortly before the start, he got the chance to play his own cards. The youngster proved his great talent by finishing 3rd overall.


BMC Racing Team's Silvan Dillier finished third overall at the Tour de Wallonie Wednesday while winning the best young rider classification. Dillier was sixth in the 180.6-kilometer final stage that race winner Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won ahead of Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing).


In the final standings, he finished 33 seconds behind Meersman and three seconds behind runner-up Juan José Lobato (Movistar Team). Lobato was initially announced as having placed third overall – and awarded that position in the podium ceremony after the race. But the results were later amended to assign the top 40 finishers the same finish time due to a crash in the final kilometer.


"Tactically, we rode a good race and I am proud of what we did with just six riders," Dillier said. "I tried everything to win the overall on the last climb. But Quick Step was really strong for the whole week.


"I'm super happy with this race and also the work done by the team. Yet it was not easy because we were only six. Initially, I came here to help Philippe Gilbert but he had to withdraw shortly before the start. Overall I am very happy with the the race and to finish as best young and also third overall. One can say that I was a good replacement for Philippe. 


"I came here with only a few training sessions in the legs and can say that it turned out well. For my first year as a professional rider, I can already make a very good record. Now I will focus on the Clasica San Sebastian and the Eneco Tour. There will also be some one-day classics like Plouay and Hamburg. San Sebastian should suit me but we will have to see what happens with Philippe's comeback."

In his first professional season, Dillier has notched nine top-five results – including third, third and fourth at Wallonie on Stages 2, 3 and 4, respectively. His third-place finish is also his best in a stage race.


"He did a very strong race and I am happy with his race and with the performance by the whole team," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said. "To finish second is a very good result and Silvan is a young talent. It was a very hard race today, so this is a very good result."


The BMC Racing Team had planned to field a seven-rider roster, but past world road champion Philippe Gilbert did not start due to illness. And teammate Greg Van Avermaet's participation in the Tour de France prevented him from defending titles won here in 2013 and 2011. Despite those obstacles, Piva said the team performed to its potential.


"The whole week, I saw a very strong team, united every day and supporting the leader," he said.



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