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"For me, the more important thing was the feeling I had during the race. It was very selective and I was always there. Only when Sagan and Stybar went away, was I on the limit," Velits says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSSHIPS

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PETER VELITS

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STEVE MORABITO

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30.06.2014 @ 16:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC failed to win a national road race championship title this year but in both Slovakia and Switzerland they got close. Peter Velits finished second in the former country while Steve Morabito was third in the latter.

 

Peter Velits took home a silver medal at the Slovakian national road race championships and Steve Morabito earned bronze in Switzerland, highlighting the BMC Racing Team's participation in national competition on Sunday.

Velits added to the Slovakian time trial title he captured on Thursday. In the combined Slovakian and Czech Republic championship, Velits was runner-up to Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling). Sagan won the Slovakian title for the fourth straight time while finishing runner-up to Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) after the two broke away late in the 192-kilometer race.

 

"It is OK to be second in the national championship, but it would be much nicer to have the jersey," Velits said. "But we all know Sagan is a top class rider.

 

"For me, the more important thing was the feeling I had during the race. It was very selective and I was always there. Only when Sagan and Stybar went away, was I on the limit."

 

Velits, who was also runner-up in 2012, is part of the BMC Racing Team's squad for the Tour de France.

 

"I am really looking forward to the Tour," he said. "When I compare the feelings I have now to other years, I have really good legs and form."

Morabito earned his second career podium finish at Swiss road nationals by sprinting it out against eventual winner Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and runner-up Michael Albasini (ORICA-GreenEDGE) at the end of the 198-kilometer race.

 

"With two laps to go, I tried to attack and went alone," Morabito said. "IAM Cycling caught me back and after that, I tried to give everything on the last climb. But Albasini and Elmiger stayed with me. Against those guys in the sprint, I had little chance."

 

Second at road nationals in 2011, Morabito said he tried hard to defend the title won last year by teammate Michael Schär.

 

"All the team did a really good job together and working with the BMC Development Team guys," Morabito said. "We had Danilo Wyss and Michi (Schär) and Martin Kohler in the breaks."

 

Kohler – third last year – finished fourth. The BMC Development Team swept the Swiss men's elite podium with Stefan Küng ahead of runner-up Tom Bohli and Arnaud Grand.

 

Other top 10 finishers for the BMC Racing Team Sunday were Greg Van Avermaet in ninth in Belgium and Rick Zabel in 10th in Germany.

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