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Rosskopf coming on strong with contract on the line

BMC Racing's Joey Rosskopf wins the overall at Tour du Limousin. But will his first WorldTour victory help the young American secure a contract for 2017?

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The timing was good for American Joey Rosskopf to claim his first WorldTour victory. The BMC Racing sophomore is still looking for a 2017 contract and won Tuesday’s stage 1 at Tour du Limousin from a breakaway move. Better still, the 26-year-old rode consistently for the race’s remaining three stages to claim the overall victory Friday in France.

In 2013 and 2014, Rosskopf proved himself on the domestic circuit, riding for Hincapie Development. In that first year with the young Continental outfit, he won the individual time trial in Canada’s Tour de Beauce. His consistent riding in 2014 — second at the Panamerican road race and TT championships, second in the queen stage at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and a king of the mountains title to boot — helped him earn a WorldTour ride with BMC.

Now into his second season with BMC, Rosskopf has two grand tour finishes to his credit, the 2015 Vuelta and the Giro earlier in 2016. But for now, he’s still seeking a team for 2017. “I mean it doesn’t hurt! It’s better than not winning,” Rosskopf said after the race when asked about his prospects for the coming season. “We’ll see what happens from here but I don’t have any announcements to make. Everything is still in the works right now, but winning here can only help.

“This win gives me a lot of confidence. I was already really happy with how I was riding going to Tour of Utah and I am really happy that I could keep that form going here and make the most of it.”

Rosskopf beat Bardiani – CSF’s Sonny Colbrelli by one second overall in the four-day race. Romain Feillu of HP BTP – Auber93 was third.

“I was confident that it would come down to a sprint. I was not super worried about second and third on GC as I knew I could mark them but the biggest threat was definitely Colbrelli. All he needed other than the win was for a one second time gap to open up at the field sprint which could have easily happened but I gave it my all to stay up there and in the end I was able to win the race. It was definitely super close.

“There is not a better display of cycling as a team sport than what we did over the last three days defending the jersey. Cycling might look like an individual sport but it isn’t. I mean, I won the race but I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support of such a strong team”