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[PCT] Philips - Continental | June
@knockout: It was a gamble that surely paid off well. Need more of the same from Nava going ahead.
Cheshire Cycling Tour Review
Expectation: Top 10
A race on the cobbles and the flat and we have a perfect leader for these kinds of races. Saber has been performing well so far this season and we hope this would be another similar result. He has decent support in Per on the stones and in the forms of Te Brake and Krieger in the sprints. This was identified as one the key races for us this season.

Stage 1

The hard first stage was ridden extremely hard. We stayed out of the break. We managed to reach the final 10 km to go with both Saber and Per in the elad group behind a couple of surviving breakaway rider and the attacking Vanbilsen,


Some more attacks followed. Per kept Saber out of trouble and continued to chase down everyone ahead. Being the only rider with a domestique (unfair on Per!) at this stage payed dividends for Saber. Although they could not catch the attackers, they kept the gap manageable, with the duo ending up 5th and 6th on the stage.


Stage 2

We stayed out of the break once again. The pack was split up in the later stages with the wind and the rain making conditions hard for those at the back. We got a sprint train going for Saber, with Krieger and Te Brake leading him out.


Krieger dropped off, but Te Brake's acceleration took him to the front. Saber launched his own sprint and came around the outside to win the close-run sprint. Te Brake payed the price of going too early but still claimed 4th.



Saber moved up to 4th in the GC.

Stage 3

We kept to our strategy of staying out of the break. Once again, we got a sprint train going. This time however, Saber did not quite have the legs to hang on to Te Brake in the final kilometer.


For awhile Te Brake was the furthest forward but he ran out of steam once again. Saber gained ground to just pip his teammate at the finish for 4th. Te Brake finished 5th.


Stage 4

Same strategy once again. This time however, the our train started off too far back and needed to make up a lot of ground. A lot of jostling for position meant that despite getting a leadout from Te Brake, Saber could not launch his sprint until late and ran out of room. Finished 5th with Te Brake rounding out the Top 10.


Stage 5

Another cobbled stage. The going wasn't so good this in the closing stages, with Per dropped with 5 km remaining. Saber, too wasn't on best form, and found himself in the third group on the road with less than 3 km remaining. And that is more or less how it ended with Saber and Per losing more than 2 and 3 minutes respectively on the stage.

Saber dropped to 6th in the GC with Per finishing 9th. Saber finished 2nd in the Points classification. Per won the U25 classification.

Jerome Baugnies won the race.

1Jérome BaugniesKulczyk - DMTEX21h17'25
6Lahcen SaberPhilips - Continental+ 2'47
9David PerPhilips - Continental+ 4'18
77Patrick MüllerPhilips - Continental+ 29'26
80Remco Te BrakePhilips - Continental+ 31'19
82Alexander KriegerPhilips - Continental+ 32'29
87Ha Jeon JungPhilips - Continental+ 35'19
90Piet AllegaertPhilips - Continental+ 36'56
119Lennard HofstedePhilips - Continental+ 54'13

Final Thoughts
A great race for the team and a much needed one too. This comes off a the Philadelphia surprise which is a momentum that we are building up. Per, once again, the star of the show, putting everything on the line to protect his team-leader on the first stage. His and Saber's exploits, along with a couple of cameos from Te Brake give up a decent haul of points from this race.

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It was a real shame what happened to Saber on Stage 5 but Cheshire was still great for your team - whilst Per is a legend as always, what a rider!
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
23/11/18 - Kaustubh Bhalerao said "@Trek Bmc r u being srs or u are just natruallly dumb"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK
The Carbon Throne

@Jandal: Cheshire was quite good. We were in the mix of things on every stage, something which hasn't happen too often this season. We would've gladly accepted 6th and 9th before the race started, so can't be too disappointed about the last stage.

Tour of Japan Review
Expectation: Top 15
An experimental outing for the team, with Henao leading on a hill-heavy course, with just the MTT in mind. He had good support for both the hills and the mountains, but after the previous experience in the Middle East, we were not getting our hopes to high.

Stage 1

We didn't have any riders who could be competitive in the Prologue. Henao lost 16 seconds on the stage, which wasn't really a cause for concern.

Stage 2

We were not able to get anyone into the break. We stayed focussed on the sprint finish and got Te Brake into a good position in the lead-out. Having surfed some wheels in the lead-out, Te Brake got past a couple of tiring sprinters to claim 4th on the stage.


Stage 3

The first hill stage. Once again, no representation in the break. As soon as the acceleration was made by the peloton on the hills with 45 km to go, Henao was dropped and there was no recovering from this. He would go on to lose 8 minutes on the stage, giving us flashbacks of ToME. Ruijgh provided our best finish on the stage.

Stage 4

The MTT suited Henao perfectly and he was on form to claim 4th on the day. It wasn't enough to move him up considerably in the GC.


Stage 5

Another hard hilly stage. Henao would attack to try to join the break.


He ended up spending too much energy in the process, got dropped very fast and never got back to the break. He would once again lose a lot of time.

Stage 6

The final flat stage saw no breakaway involvement either. Te Brake was too far down when the sprint trains formed and couldn't make up the ground. He finished 17th, ending our poor race on a similar note.

Michal Kwiatkowski won the race.

1Michal KwiatkowskiNetia - Vonin14h35'28
81Rob RuijghPhilips - Continental+ 16'15
82Sergio Luis Henao MontoyaPhilips - Continental+ 16'25
93Jarlinson Pantano GómezPhilips - Continental+ 17'27
99Jaoa CostaPhilips - Continental+ 19'15
120Remco Te BrakePhilips - Continental+ 24'24
133Christoph MaiPhilips - Continental+ 27'39
142Lotto PetrusPhilips - Continental+ 31'56
152Lennard HofstedePhilips - Continental+ 34'50

Final Thoughts
The less said about this race the better. This was a planning mistake to be honest, and we probably wouldn't have come to this race if we could decide our planning on a month to month basis, after the experience in ToME. A couple of 4th place stages finishes is what we take away from here, and act like this race never happened Pfft

Nice to see someone with a more disappointing Japan than I did Pfft
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
23/11/18 - Kaustubh Bhalerao said "@Trek Bmc r u being srs or u are just natruallly dumb"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK
The Carbon Throne

Oh shit. The participation medal isnt what you wanted to take from this and i definitely didnt see such a shockingly bad result even if it might not be a 100% perfect route for you.

A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

@Jandal: It isn't nice at all Angry

@knockout: Quite a few participation medals won this year already. Henao can climb a mountain but not a hill apparently!
Kigali GP Review
Expectation: Top 15
With some good results on the cobbles so far from Saber, and helped by Per, we were hopeful of something similar once again in this race. This is not a route that suits the former much, with multiple ascents.

Jung managed to join the early break but only lasted till the first climb before being caught by the pack.


Dieteren was dropped on the second cobbled section, continuing his poor season.

The attacks started in the pack on the hill after the 12th cobbled section. Saber didn't put in a counter. The break and the attackers were reeled in on the 13th section. The peloton was just 19 riders strong, with Saber still in there. Per, unfortunately, was not having a good day.


Nine riders got away beyond the next hill, with Saber in a 6 man group chasing. Things changed again on the penultimate cobbled section, with the lead group down to 5, 4 riders in the gap and Saber still in the 6 man group.

With just over 2 km to go, Saber found himself in the third group on the road, with just four riders out ahead now. He dropped the others in his group on the final cobbled section and claimed a brilliant 5th place.


Pieter Vanspeybrouck won the race.

1Pieter VanspeybrouckCarlsberg - Danske Bank5h34'39
5Lahcen SaberPhilips - Continental+ 2'19
35David PerPhilips - Continental+ 8'49
80Patrick MüllerPhilips - Continental+ 19'11
106Ronan Van ZandbeekPhilips - Continental+ 31'02
111Ha Jeon JungPhilips - Continental+ 32'14
113Piet AllegaertPhilips - Continental+ 33'22

Final Thoughts
Another great ride from Saber, this time on his own, to ensure another better than expected result on the cobbles. We fail to pick up any minor points once again but we can't really complain too much about this race.

Really happy to see Saber getting some nice results on regular base! Like I said prior to the season, for me it's been one of the "steals" in the off season and I was rather surprised, that there was no big interest in Saber from too many other managers. He's just such an interesting rider.
Well, now we have you with a fantastic race when I had a dissapointment Pfft Congrats, Saber is awesome Grin
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
23/11/18 - Kaustubh Bhalerao said "@Trek Bmc r u being srs or u are just natruallly dumb"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK
The Carbon Throne

@tsmoha: I think most managers thought that Saber would either be unavailable (don't remember if you explicitly made him available) or too expensive. Lucky me I guess Pfft So far, he's been our rider of the season, ala another steal, Marcel Wyss last season (at 55k wage!)

@jandal: We have some catching up to do, so this helps Cool
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