We knew heading into the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire that we had a good chance of getting Greg the overall win. But this was only possible if we all rode to our potential and laid it on the line for the team.
(Personally, I was also thinking about how I could make that happen while also going for the win myself…)
I was hoping to play my chances late in the race, but after a fast start and a solid 7-kilometer climb following neutral, the race opened up. With only four BMC Racing Team guys supporting Greg, I was on duty to look for early moves and find opportunities to apply pressure on other teams. This chance came sooner than I expected and before I knew it, I was away in a strong group of 10 riders. There were multiple guys in the group within a minute of the lead, but I was the highest-placed rider at ~ 20 seconds back. This would definitely put pressure on Astana, and we hoped it would isolate their leader later in the race.
Our group worked fairly well together, at least for the first half but being the highest placed rider GC rider meant I was a threat and could win the whole race.
This put me in a position of extra pressure and responsibility and I had to figure out how to keep the group moving and working together as long as possible. This would give us the best chance on a physically and technically demanding stage. I had to put in some extra pulls and heavily mark the others as guys tired, shirked pulls and eventually became frustrated and started attacking.
Back in the peloton, the race leader was under pressure and showing weakness. Greg came over the radio and said he had super legs and no one could beat him. I knew this likely meant my chances to go for it were over, but I still had a crucial role to play. As Greg’s group caught us, I battled to stay with the best riders as they attacked on the final classified climb. Cort Neilson had been dropped, and now it was up to Danilo Wyss and me to go all-in, sell out for Greg, keep the pace up, and hold the front group together.
After a long day out front, I buried myself heading into the finish. I would have loved to hang onto a nice top 10 result by staying in the group, but we raced 100 percent to get the overall win for Greg. It feels good to help make that happen. That ride gave me a lot of confidence heading into Amgen Tour of California. It was also refreshing to have great legs on such a demanding stage and drive a strong break through my favorite type of roads for riding a bike.