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BMC’s Danilo Wyss capped off what was a very strong day for the team by taking 6th on the stage. Foto: Tim De Waele
BMC’s Danilo Wyss capped off what was a very strong day for the team by taking 6th on the stage. Foto: Tim De Waele

Danilo Wyss takes 6th place in sprint to Lyss

20. June 2008


Friday’s Stage 7 from Gruyères to Lyss seemed to present the last sure-fire chance for the sprinters to take a stage victory.

The parcours offered a few humps that riders battling for the mountains jersey would find interesting, but the fast run into the finish would almost have to dictate a field sprint.  Almost, that is.  Fabian Cancellara put in what is becoming a trademark attack with 6 km to go, and held on to take the stage victory.  BMC’s Danilo Wyss capped off what was a very strong day for the team by taking 5th in the sprint to the line, and 6th on the stage.

A day of racing smartly

“Today was fast and steady, with the sprinters teams and High Road dictating a controlled pace,” Gavin Chilcott related.   With two challenging days scheduled for the weekend, Friday’s stage would be a balancing act between riding aggressively and riding to keep Alex Moos safe and out of the wind.  “We had Jeff Louder, Darren Lill and Martin Kohler each trying to get into early breaks,” John Lelangue said.  Finally a four man break slipped off the front, but as it contained the second placed rider on the GC, it looked to be a poor move to fight to join. “That was a bit of an odd situation since when the break formed and had Kreuziger who is high on the GC, it was going to be up to High Road and the big teams to bring it back,” Chilcott explained.  “There was never any doubt they were going to do that, but when Kreuziger voluntarily fell back to the pack, it gave the break new life, by which time it was too late to try and bridge up.”  Being fairly certain that the break would eventually be pulled back, focus shifted to Moos.  “When we missed the main break, we concentrated on Alex.  The guys were under pressure all day to keep Alex in position, and they did a great job,” Lelangue said.  “Tomorrow will be an important day for us so we worked to keep Alex out of the wind and conserving energy.”  Moos was extremely pleased with the way the young team has worked for him.  “The team did a great job for me today,” he said.  “I have no prediction for the time trial, but will just do my best to finish well.”  

Complicated finishing circuit offers surprises, dangers

After Cancellara made his bid for the stage win with his breakaway, the chase behind was disorganized, making the possibility for mishaps at the end even greater than usual.  “It was very important for us to keep Alex on the good side of any splits in the field that may have happened,” Chilcott explained.  Coming into the final 1000 meters, it became clear that the pack was racing for second.  “We had a good sprint with Danilo finishing high, and Alex staying safe,” Chilcott said.  Being a tricky finishing stretch with some serious road furniture in the way at about 500 meters to go, it was very important for the team to stay alert and safe from any crashes.   “My first order of interest was to keep Alex safe in the final, since the possibilities for crashes were very high,” Wyss said.  “On the final run into the finish, I chose to go on the left side of the roundabout, as the rest of the pack squeezed into the right side, and that positioned me perfectly for the sprint.”  Wyss continued, “The team had a strong performance today, covering the breaks and protecting Alex.”  Now attention will shift fully towards the individual time trial on Saturday.  The race organization has not made things easy for the teams, since there is a very long car transfer from Lyss to the site of tomorrow’s stage a quarter of the way across the country at the Klausenpass.   “They certainly have put the ‘tour’ into the Tour of Switzerland today,” Chilcott joked.  “But we couldn’t have nicer weather for the scenic trip, and will just have to recover as best we can for tomorrow, just like everyone else.”