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Senni Shows Strength on Colorado Classic Stage 3 to Move into Race Lead

12 August, 2017, Denver (USA)

After a strong display on stage 2, Manuel Senni has backed up with an impressive ride on stage 3 which saw him sprint to second on the finish line and move into the race lead with one stage remaining.

After two days of circuit racing, stage 3 of the Colorado Classic took the peloton on an out and back route which included the tough Gap Road climb, followed by the second King of the Mountain at Golden Gate, before the downhill run into the finish in Denver.

With the first intermediate sprint coming in the opening 10km, it was a fast pace from kilometer 0 and a battle to make the breakaway.

Multiple riders tried to go clear on the run into the Gap Road climb but it wasn't until the road started to rise when a five-rider breakaway was established, while behind Senni and Brent Bookwalter were part of a select chase group.

The chase group kept the breakaway to within one minute, before Senni jumped ahead and bridged to the five riders who, at that point, held a slim 20-second advantage.

The 21-rider chase group, featuring Bookwalter, closed the gap and the race hit the reset button before Senni launched a solo attack 5km before the Golden Gate summit.

Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly Powered by Maxxis) covered Senni's move and the two riders forged on ahead, managing to gain a maximum 1'15" advantage over the 22-rider chase group.

Despite the strong numbers in the chase, Senni and Tvetcov managed to maintain a gap of more than one minute for the final 30km of the stage.

Senni claimed the final intermediate sprint points ahead of Tvetcov before the duo started the run into the finish, which saw Tvetcov power ahead of Senni in the closing meters to finish one-second ahead.

Bookwalter led the chase group behind and crossed the line in sixth place to move into seventh place on the General Classification, 2'16" behind new race leader Senni.

With one final circuit stage to come, Senni holds a 15-second advantage over Tvetcov.

Quotes from the Finish Line

Manuel Senni:

"Today was exactly how I said it yesterday. I wanted to try everything because my legs are good and I was in a good position on the General Classification after yesterday. I tried to follow Peter Stetina on the first climb but the pace was a bit too much for me and I didn't want to go over my limit so I came back to the group. I could see that the group was getting smaller and smaller and towards the top, my legs were getting better. I attacked in last part of the second climb and Serghei Tvetcov followed. Together, we were really strong on the flat and on the descent so we were able to hold our advantage and went together to the finish. We had good cooperation the whole time so it was a really good stage for me."

"Going into tomorrow, I have a 15-second advantage. We have a very strong team and I think we can try to cooperate with some other teams. But, I think we have a good team to defend the jersey. I started the year with good results in Valencia and good results with the national team. I had bad luck at the Giro d'Italia as I started with a virus but after I did a month of good training at home before Utah where my legs were good and I was getting better day by day. Now I am here in the position to do a good result and I think until now, this is the best race of my career."

Steve Bauer, Sports Director:

"Manuel Senni was super motivated. Even after the race yesterday he said to me "I really want to give it a go. We have to do something" so he was super pumped after the stage in Breckenridge and you could see he was motivated to give it a shot. The race was very hard up the climb, the guys were really getting separated and a lot of guys were off the back. Cannondale-Drapac were trying to control to get Alex Howes to the finish and Peter Stetina had gone away for Trek-Segafredo. Senni made a couple of attempts to bridge but then they were over the climb and he went solo. Tvetcov came to him and they went over the second KOM with 15-20 seconds and then they gained about one minute on the descent and managed to hold that almost all the way to the finish. They were super strong. It was pretty impressive."

"I think that the legs of the chase group were equal to the legs of Senni and Tvetcov so once they got that one-minute advantage, they were able to hold it. Senni said that the two of them were very strong together and working well together. There was a bit of a tailwind at times which helps but they did a great race. We have a good team here. In the mountains, most of the guys are suffering like everyone else but I think on a flatter stage, we have a strong team to control. We just need to bring it to a bunch sprint and there are other teams with the same interest, so we'll give it everything we have tomorrow."

Race Profile
Colorado Classic
Stage 3 Denver > Denver (130km)
Top 3: 1. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly powered by Maxxis), 2. Manuel Senni (BMC Racing Team), 3. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 2. Manuel Senni, 6. Brent Bookwalter

©Beth Schneider Photography

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