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Finished his first ProTour race as 4th in the sprint  and 8th in the mountain competition: Ian McKissick (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Finished his first ProTour race as 4th in the sprint and 8th in the mountain competition: Ian McKissick (Foto by Tim De Waele)

Moos lights up stage as Most Aggressive; Wyss takes 7th in sprint

4. May 2008

Lausanne

The final stage of the Tour de Romandie took the riders over a lumpy 160 kilometers around the outside of Lake Geneva from Le Bouveret to Lausanne. 

There was little doubt in the BMC camp that it would be a day of attacking, but just how the strategy would unfold was an exciting question waiting to be answered.

Moos on the attack!

The stage began, after a 13 km flat interlude, with a climb from Aigle, the seat of the UCI, to the top of the Col des Mossas.  “It was a fairly eventful day for us,” Gavin Chilcott said.  “It started with a long climb, and so we planned to launch Alex on an attack of his own.”  Moos attacked alone on the climb, was later joined by a few other riders, jumped away from them, and crested the climb on his own.  “Alex was riding really well,” Chilcott said, “and he was able to shake off his initial pursuers, but four other guys latched onto him, and the group of five was able to eek out a few minutes advantage over the field for much of the day.”   “I am very happy with this stage it was a difficult day, but I had good legs,” Moos said.  “My ride today was a perfect way to end the week with a good memory.”   As the stage was difficult for a sprinter especially with the early climb, it took the sprinters’ teams a while to reorganize and to work their sprinters back into the peloton after having lost contact up the day’s main climb.  “That probably worked to our advantage for much of the day,” Chilcott said.  “There wasn’t a lot of organization in the group and so Alex was able to build up a lead of around 3:20 at one point.”   “I was alone at the head of the race over the top of the climb, and then caught by a few other riders on the descent,” Moos explained, “then we worked together to stay out in front for quite a while.  I’m happy with the day.”  The BMC rider has every reason to be happy since he also won the Most Aggressive Rider prize for the day.

As sprinters’ teams take control, Wyss and Kohler plan their sprint

Alex Moos and his companions were caught with about 15km to go.  Though it was a very difficult finishing circuit including a stiff uphill sprint for the line, the day was sure to end in a bunch sprint today.  “I had trouble on the first climb,” Martin Kohler reported.  “I had been attacking on the flat section leading into the climb, and so hit the base of it already in the red.”  Kohler also had his strength sapped due to stomach cramps he suffered.  “Something was wrong with my stomach, and I quickly ended up in the gruppetto,” Kohler said, “but Cavendish was there too so I knew that High Road would pull us back into contention.”  For his part, Danilo Wyss made it over the climb with team mate Steve Bovay, though the stage was also challenging for the young sprinter.  “Overall it was a very difficult stage,” Danilo reported.  “I really had to grit my teeth with every small bump near the end, but I held on and reached the finish in good position.”  The two team mates discussed which of them would work for the other in the sprint.  “The final lap was fast and hard,” Martin said.  “Both Danilo and I felt good, and Danilo decided he wanted to work for me, but with 1 km to go I was pushed off his wheel, and had to yell in the radio for Danilo to race for himself.”  “I was surprised when I looked back and Martin wasn’t there,” Danilo said, “but I am very content with my 7th place finish; for me it is really a very good result.”

The week in review

There is no question that the BMC Racing Team was competing at a very high level.  Though a top ten placing with Alex Moos was well within their capabilities, circumstances dictated otherwise.  “I am overall happy with my performance this week,” Moos said.  “With today’s stage and my good ride in the time trial, I can be very happy.”  Moos continued, “It is just a pity that I lost all that time on the first stage.  With the cold and cramps and such things, it was very difficult for me in the last 2 km of stage 1.  But that is cycling.”  The team management could also look at the race and feel content with the results.  “We have a young team, and everyone will take away valuable lessons and experiences from this week,” Chilcott said.  For the more experienced riders like Jeff Louder, it was an effective way to get back into the swing of European cycling.  “I have raced world cup level events before, but I haven’t raced here for a couple of years,” Louder explained.  “The first race in Europe is always a bit of a shock to the system, but this week has been valuable experience and good publicity for the team, and that’s what it is all about.”  Next on the European calendar for the team is the Tour of Picardie.  “I am really looking forward to Picardie,” Martin Kohler said.  “After these five or six days of racing, I am feeling very fit, and have high hopes for the next races.”