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Mathias Frank (shown here being congratulated on his performance) was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher in the individual time trial. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)
Mathias Frank (shown here being congratulated on his performance) was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher in the individual time trial. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)

Tour de Suisse, Stage 1: Three In Top 20

8. juni 2013

Mathias Frank's 12th-place finish on his BMC timemachine TM01 led three BMC Racing Team riders in the top 20 in Saturday's individual time trial that opened the Tour de Suisse.

Gilbert Started Slow, Finished Strong
Frank finished 21 seconds off the winning time by Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) on the 8.1-kilometer course that featured a complete change in wind direction and wind strength over two-and-a-half hours between the first starter and the last. BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert, the 34th rider to start, was 15th (at 22 seconds) and Amaël Moinard – starting 13th on the day – finished 20th (at 27 seconds). Frank, the 55th rider to start, said he felt "lucky" to have avoided the strong late-afternoon wind gusts. "I don't think I had as much as a headwind as the guys had at the end," last year's "Best Suisse" rider said. "The wind wasn't a big influence really. I also had good legs. So for me, it was a pretty good race." Gilbert said he originally thought a slow start had cost him time. "But it was not a big mistake because then I had some reserve for the final," he said. "I think you needed it because there was a little climb that looked like nothing on TV but it was still very hard, plus there was a headwind for the final. I started a little bit slow, but finished strong."

Van Garderen Fought Strongest Winds
Tejay van Garderen, the final BMC Racing Team rider to start – and eighth-from-last of 167 riders – finished 73rd, 45 seconds back. "I was feeling good and I was motivated for today," van Garderen said. "I was thinking it would be a good chance for a result. But with the weather conditions, sometimes that's how it is in the prologue. Conditions can change. It's not like in a normal time trial where the GC (general classification) guys mostly start together. In a prologue, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't." BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said there will be plenty of time for van Garderen to make up time lost. "There is still a long way to go," he said. "Nobody was expecting this kind of forecast of the conditions – conditions that totally changed from the beginning of the race to the end. Most important (for van Garderen) was to stay in contact with the other contenders and even take some time from them while having some good sensations."

Comments from Frank, Gilbert, Lelangue and van Garderen are on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.