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Mike Sayers powers long-distance break. (Foto by Mark Adkinson)
Mike Sayers powers long-distance break. (Foto by Mark Adkinson)

Making the most of his final races, Mike Sayers powers long-distance break in Missouri Stage 2

10. September 2008

Springfield

Spending a nervous day of racing in the day’s breakaway is probably the best way to stay out of trouble as the Missouri pack rolls closer to the demanding individual time trial Wednesday. Perhaps with this in mind, Mike Sayers took the team’s game plan by the horns and launched himself into the five man breakaway that was caught only 6 miles from the finish line.

Travelling 202km from Clinton to Springfield, Stage 2 was by far the longest day of the Tour of Missouri.  BMC again felt lucky that its GC riders stayed safe and protected, avoiding any crashes or ill-timed mishaps.

Riders motivated to make a splash

“We had another good day and are pleased we missed all the crashes again,” John Lelangue said.  “The objective for the day was to have someone in the break and it was a good move for Mike to be in.”  With Sayers sharing the workload with four other riders, there was a chance that this break could get enough time to make it difficult to reel in.  “When we went away, I didn’t really think it would last, but we ended up staying away a lot longer than I would have expected,” Sayers revealed.  Whether in the peloton or in the break, the day proved hard for everyone.  “We seemed to have a head wind or cross wind the entire day,” Sayers said.  “It was a good group and we were all doing basically equal turns; there was a point near the end of the day where we were doing 32 miles an hour and everyone took his pulls.”  Though the result turned out as most had been predicting, hanging out in the break all day was far from a thankless job.  “Being in the break is never wasted energy,” Sayer declared.  “John motivated us to get out there and try it because as a team you have to participate; everyday we stick a guy out there it moves us up the ladder of promoters’ esteem so it is never useless.”  While hard-man Sayers provided another day in the break for BMC, the up-and-coming sprinter Danilo Wyss wound up another powerful sprint.  “It was not an easy day by any means,” Wyss said.  “The shear distance makes the day difficult, but then we were also going up and down these little rises all day long.”  Though Columbia once more dominated the finishing sprint, Danilo managed again to pick up another top 10 field sprint finish.  “Danilo finished in the top 10,” Lelangue said.  “So we are very happy with that.”   “Columbia once again had everything under control and as a result Cavendish won easily,” Wyss explained.  “I finished 8th and am relatively content because my form is there and everything is going well so far.”

Everyone’s GC hopes depend on a good Time Trial

On Tuesday, the rest of the team focused its energies on keeping the three protected riders, Louder, Lill and Bookwalter, safe and rested.  “We are preserving our three leaders since the time trial is coming tomorrow, and it is really one of the hardest courses I have ever seen, even in Europe,” Lelangue said.  “After tomorrow night we will see what the results are and then plan the rest of the week from there.”  Aside from the team’s GC aspirations, there is also the chance that Martin Kohler can make a stab at the Best Young Rider Competition.  “After Martin’s time in the break on stage 1, he was in 2nd place a few seconds behind Cavendish for the Young Rider,” Lelangue explained.  “So he is motivated to ride a good TT and see whether taking that classification lead might be a possibility.”  Known as a strong sprinter, Kohler also enjoys his climbs and has found success in short time trials and prologues.  “We are not putting any pressure on Martin to bring back this result since the team is still fully focused on the GC,” Lelangue explained.  “But it would be nice for him and we’ll just see what happens.”   BMC has brought a very strong team and is confident that its preparations will prove enough once the clock stops on Wednesday’s stage.