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Mathias Frank (left) and Thomas Frei.
Mathias Frank (left) and Thomas Frei.

Mathias Frank’s “Most Emotional Victory”

31. August 2009


All eyes were on the BMC Racing Team at the Grand Prix Tell, an international multi-stage cycling race held in Switzerland. Thanks to a masterly tactical performance, Mathias Frank and Thomas Frei succeeded in stealing the lead from the German cyclist Nico Keinath (GS Hadimec) in the final stage of the race. Mathias Frank won the overall tournament, while Thomas Frei came in first place on the day.

With Mathias Frank a minute behind the leader going into the final stage, he had no expectation of actually winning. “Nevertheless, our team gave its best and managed to win out on the day.” Currently living in the canton of Basel with his girlfriend, Mathias Frank is originally from Central Switzerland. This meant that he knew the region well from his past training, and gave him and the BMC Racing Team a valuable advantage. “On top of this, the support I received from Andy Rihs (co-owner of the BMC Racing Team) and Mike Hürlimann (CEO of ISH International Sport Holding AG, among other things the holding company of the bike brand BMC), together with the crowds of fans at the side of the road, provided me with an excellent boost.”

“Icing on the cake” for Thomas Frei

The BMC Racing Team launched its attack at the foot of the Glaubenberg Pass, with Thomas Frei – Mathias Frank’s fellow team member and roommate – picking up the tempo and creating a breakaway group of nine. The leader Nico Keinath and the overall second-placed Gabor Kasa from Serbia soon had trouble keeping up with the new pace. The leading pack was a good two minutes ahead at the top of the pass, and crossed the finish line one and a half minutes in front. Thanks to his third place and the credit points awarded, Mathias Frank was crowned the overall winner. “It was particularly rewarding that I was able to celebrate together with Thomas Frei. Our tactics worked out perfectly for us,” commented Mathias Frank following his fellow team member’s stage win and his own overall victory. And a highly satisfied Thomas Frei added that “I did everything to make it possible for Mathias to secure overall victory. The fact that I even managed to win the stage myself is really the icing on the cake.” This was the first Swiss win at the Grand Prix Tell since 1997, when the title went to Oscar Camenzind, and Thomas Frei commented that “after having waited for so long, the organizers well deserved to finally see another Swiss winner.”

Great team, personal progress

Mathias Frank feels completely at home in the BMC Racing Team, and says that “We’re an extremely close-knit group, and this was clearly to be seen again at the Grand Prix Tell.” He also, he says, secured personal progress with two second places at the Swiss championships (time trial and road), as well as sixth place at the Tour of Ireland. “My most emotional experience, however, was my overall win in the Grand Prix Tell.” Mathias Frank will already be starting his next race on Thursday at the Tour of Missouri, and is also hoping that his great form will stand him in good stead for the upcoming World Championships hosted this year by Switzerland in Mendrisio.