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Florian Stalder rode well to finish with the leaders at Wallonie (foto by AbbiOrca.com)
Florian Stalder rode well to finish with the leaders at Wallonie (foto by AbbiOrca.com)

Florian Stalder makes final cut for BMC at Grand Prix de Wallonie

16. September 2009

Namur

With a portion of the squad only arriving in Europe the day before the race in Wallonie after racing the Tour of Missouri all last week, a little bit of fatigue and jet lag could hardly be avoided. 

Nevertheless, the difficult parcours which the GP Wallonie offers the riders played to the strengths of many of BMC's racers.  Florian Stalder and Alex Moos came into the race as protected riders and Stalder was able to stick with the lead group that fought it out for the final victory.  While Nick Nuyens of Rabobank won his third ever GP Wallonie in a two-up sprint against Allan Davis, Stalder rode well to finish 29th among the small group of survivors at the front of the race.

Tough course, little movement  

"It was a very tough race where nothing was moving in the beginning," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.  "There was a little break of five early on, and we had Jonathan Garcia in the counter move, but other than that, nothing was getting away."  The stiff undulation of the route offered very little opportunity to ride on flat roads which meant that the riders had to always be fighting for position climbing the narrow roads, or staying alert on the descents.  "Finally at about 95 kilometers into the race there was a serious split in the pack and everyone from our team made the front end," Lelangue said.  "And in the last 45 kilometers, the main group of about 35 riders split off; we had Florian and Alex in there initially."  Since both Moos and Stalder had been protected riders for the race, their presence in the final selection was satisfying for Lelangue.  "Florian just arrived from the Tour of Missouri yesterday so we knew he would have some trouble with fatigue and jet lag," Lelangue admitted.  "But this was his type of parcours so we really want to do everything we could for him to make it as successful a race as possible." 

That little something extra

On the penultimate climb, Alex Moos lost contact with the lead group which meant that Stalder was on his own in the group of 35 or 40 riders.  "Alex did all he could for Florian, but he couldn't hold the pace on that second to last climb," Lelangue said.  "This was Florian's first time doing this race, so I am very pleased he tried so hard and was with the lead group, even if he was missing that little bit extra to go for the win."  With the GP Vlaanderen the next race on the calendar for BMC, they will have to make the most of their recovery time.  "We have Vlaanderen coming up on Friday and that is a totally different race with a new set of tactics," Lelangue said.  "We will now concentrate on our recovery and try again on Friday."