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Best finisher at the Prologue for the BMC Racing Team: Jeff Louder (Photo by Christopher Kammel)
Best finisher at the Prologue for the BMC Racing Team: Jeff Louder (Photo by Christopher Kammel)

There she blows!

18. February 2008

Palo Alto

After several days of gathering around the community of Palo Alto, the professional racers representing many of the best teams in cycling from around the world attacked the 3.4 km Prologue time trial to open the AMGEN Tour of California.  The BMC Racing team has brought its A-game and hopes for big results. 

Expectations are high for a team which has spent a lot of time and effort bringing together a cohesive group of people who believe in each other.   From the mechanics to the racers to the sponsors, there is a pride in workmanship and belief that their efforts will yield positive results.  Vince Gee the BMC mechanic said “you have to believe that you are doing something really well, positive thinking gets positive results.”

Content with the results

“The race unfolded according to our expectations,” reported Gavin Chilcott, the BMC team manager.  “We didn’t hit top ten, but there were no bad times and the riders are obviously fit.”  Jeff Louder finished with 4:05, the best time for the team.  “I’ve never done this race before.   I’ve been on a team with a lot of Australians, so they were always the ones racing early, and I was more a guy for June and July,” Louder related after his ride, “but I have always wanted to do this race, and so I’m very honoured to be here.”  The crowd turn-out was as impressive as the organizers for the Tour of California have come to expect.  Jeff noticed the spectator impact, “There were so many people on the sides of the road that it was hard to see and properly judge the corners.”

Moos, Louder very much within striking distance

Everyone on the team agrees that Alexander Moos is riding very well and has a good chance of being the BMC’s great hope for General Classification.  A smart ride in the prologue confirmed the confidence Gavin and the team have in Alex.  “He road a smart, smooth race,” Chilcott said.  “We’re also happy to see Jeff Louder riding so strongly.  This is his first race of the year, and he is racing earlier than he normally would,” Gavin related.  “Racing earlier meant that Jeff had to plan a new training schedule for the winter, and that sort of experimentation is always exciting for a racer.” With his eye to the future, Gavin explained, “Jeff and Darren (Lill) both obviously have a talent for time trialling, so we will certainly be working to develop that skill for both of them.”   

BMC’s owner, Andy Rihs basks in the development of the team

Being the largest and most prestigious race in America, the Tour of California has drawn the cream of the cycling world crop.  Among the attendees is the cycling enthusiast and Swiss multi-entrepreneur, Andy Rihs.  He spent the day on the finish line and professed himself extremely pleased with the results.  “We couldn’t expect to win the race since the course didn’t really fit any of our guys, but they all did a good job, finishing within the first half or so of the field,” Rihs said.  “We can be confident that the team ranking will be good, and I am very pleased to see the support that the crowd gave each racer,” Rihs enthused.  “I have spent the past several days with the team and have had the chance to get to know the riders better, and I am extremely pleased with atmosphere within the team.”  Looking forward to the rest of the race, Rihs predicted, “I think the stage Wednesday into San José will be very good for our guys.  We will be aggressive and look for the opportunities.  I think we are strong enough to place well.” 

Happy with the equipment    

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will certainly win the award for best kitted-out of all teams,” said the very dapper-looking Rihs in his Assos-issued Dopo Bici bike wear.  “We are in a cooperation with Assos where we will be providing their R&D department with invaluable feedback,” Rihs explained, “We will be putting their materials through the hardest tests and we are all keen to make the products even stronger.  You can rely on BMC.”