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Photo by Mark Adkinson
Photo by Mark Adkinson

Tour of California Preview

16. February 2008

Palo Alto

Tony Cruz: "I am super happy here"

Counting himself among the walking wounded who emerged from the recent Tour of Qatar, Tony Cruz has been fighting a nasty sinus infection which has affected his quality time with his bicycle.  After Qatar Gavin Chilcott bragged just how well Tony performed in the week-long Middle Eastern event, “Tony had amazing legs all week and if it hadn’t been for a few very poorly timed punctures, I’m sure he would have bagged himself a few podium finishes, if not a stage victory.”  Though frustrated by a nagging cold, Tony’s health is getting back to normal, and he is revving to go.

How are you feeling with your cold now?  

Tony Cruz: I’m actually feeling a lot better.  I saw a doctor on Monday who gave me some antibiotics.  They said it was a sinus infection, but it has really affected everything else, so it has been chest congestion along with the head cold symptoms.  I have been really fatigued too.  Maybe that’s the worse thing, especially when you are trying to train for an event.  But I have ridden the past two days and am feeling a lot better.

What will be your personal ambitions for the race?

TC: I’d definitely like to win a stage.  There are two or three really good opportunities for sprinters.  We could look to the Santa Rosa finish, or Sacramento, and to win in Pasadena would of course be great.  And I like climbing a lot, so even the stages that have hard climbs I can hope to place well in.  I have won a lot of races by being one of the strong sprinters who makes it over the hills in the first group. 

What do you see as the team’s ambitions for the race?

TC: Most importantly we’ll want to be smart and aggressive.  Attacking for the sake of it only wastes energy, but we will want really to hone our tactical sense and animate the race in a meaningful way.  We need to choose our moments.  Alex Moos will definitely be our guy for the GC.  He is climbing really well and has been reconnoitring the stages these past several weeks.  I think the key stage for the GC will come on the run into San José, so we will certainly be working to keep Alex in position on that day.

Will you be aiming at all for the prologue since it is more tailored to a sprinter’s course than last year?

TC: For sure, I’d love to do well in the prologue and get even a chance at the leader’s jersey.  I wanted to train on my TT bike all this week, but with one thing and another, it never happened. 

Are you happy with your new team and what sort of future do you see with BMC?

TC: I am super happy here.  Around May last year I saw the writing on the wall with Discovery and started talking seriously with Gavin about joining his outfit.   We had been kicking the idea of my joining around for the past two years or so.  And since I have a wife and three kids here in the states, it means a lot to me to be a part of such a high quality program while still being stateside a good deal of the season.  There is no doubt we’ll be at what is today called a “Pro Tour level” pretty quickly.  We already have a staff and equipment that is the envy of just about everyone.  Even at Qatar we were getting a lot of attention because of our high quality set-up.  And now that we officially have Wild Card status for the big European races, a lot of doors will be opening for us even though we are still such a young team.  There is no reason why we shouldn’t aim to get into the big one day races like Paris-Roubaix this year, and shoot for the three week races in a year or two.