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Two ill-timed punctures muted BMC’s day

23. April 2008

Gainesville

Though the Tour de Georgia’s stage 3 offered up a challenging parcous, there was little doubt that the day would end in another bunch sprint. 

The 174 km route from Washington to Gainesville presented the racers with an undulating course, made more difficult by the fast pace set all day by the peloton.  “Overall the guys rode a very good race,” Team Manager Gavin Chilcott said.  “They are well-coordinated and looking out for each other; we just had a bit of bad luck with a couple of punctures at important points in the race.”

Staying aggressive, focusing on the finale

BMC tried its luck initially by joining early breaks.  Being an accustomed animator of the team, Jackson Stewart figured in several attempts to break free from the pack.  Unfortunately, he suffered a puncture while in a break, and had to fight his back into the peloton.  “Jackson flatted out of the break he helped form,” Gavin Chilcott reported after the stage.  “He had to work his way back into the field on his own, and as it was such a fast stage, that naturally took a lot of effort.”  The hot, fast day would prove difficult to a number of racers.  “As Jackson’s break was absorbed, the next four guys took off,” Chilcott explained.  “It was just one of those breaks that got away so fast, that we knew that we had to start focusing our day’s efforts on keeping Danilo fresh for the sprint.”

Team work in the face of adversity 

“Just as we were entering the finishing circuits, with about 10 km to go, Danilo flatted,” Chilcott explained.  “The team was there for him: Jackson gave Danilo his wheel, David Galvin and John Garcia waited for him, and we worked very hard to get Danilo back into contention.”  Though there is never a good time to have a flat, the timing could barely have been worse for BMC.  “The circuit was a very challenging, technical and hilly course,” Chilcott said.  “And though we did get Danilo back into the top quarter of the group in time for the sprint, the effort was just too much for Danilo to really put a punch into his finishing speed.”  The frustration such a situation causes, however, is happily tempered by the outstanding display of teamwork.  “It is great to see the development of the team since the beginning of the year,” Directeur Sportif John Lelangue interjected.  “To see that the guys reacted as a team and were able to coordinate this sort of rescue effort bodes very well for the future, not only this year, but also as the team builds itself into a major GC contender it is very important to be able to protect a leader.” 

Recovering for the Team Time Trial

BMC has raced team time trials before, and has found success in the discipline.  “We’ve done a TTT this year already,” Chilcott reasoned, “so I have every confidence that we can give a good performance tomorrow.”  “This is a well balanced race with interesting sprinting stages and difficult mountain finishes sandwiching the unusual TTT on regular bikes,” Lelangue said.  “It is my first time at the Tour de Georgia, and I think it is a very good race with great weather and engaging stages.”  Non-time trial bikes have been called for by the organizers due to the reputedly technical race course being used for the time trial.  “It will be very interesting to see the course up close,” Chilcott said.  “We will finalize our tactics once we have ridden it, but I don’t think anyone will be at a disadvantage because we are on our regular bikes; it will be the same for everyone.”