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(Foto by Tim De Waele)
(Foto by Tim De Waele)

BMC finishes an impressive 5th in the Team Time Trial

24. April 2008

Atlanta

For the first time in its six years of existence, the Tour de Georgia included a team time trial in the race schedule.  Thursday’s Stage 4 challenged the riders with a very hilly 16km course at the Road Atlanta motor speedway.

A smooth and consistent ride
 

“Overall, I am really very pleased with how the guys rode,” Gavin Chilcott said after all the teams had completed their rides.  “The laps unfolded as planned, and though we may have been able to go 10 seconds faster due to little 1-2 second mistakes here and there, there were no technical mistakes and everyone was riding strongly.”  John Lelangue agreed with the positive assessment.  “The guys rode amazingly well,” Lelangue enthused.  “They reacted well to each situation, and when you see the teams that finished in front of us are all specialists at time trial situations, we can feel very confident with our performance.”  The plan for the team at the outset revolved around protecting the GC chances of its two leaders, Scott Nydam and Darren Lill.  “Scott, Darren, Taylor and John were our four finishers,” Chilcott confirmed. “So we are very pleased to have protected our GC guys while also putting in a very respectable performance.”  Darren Lill, riding the Tour de Georgia for the first time, was also pleased with how the team has come together.  “We rode really well as a team,” he said, “and the guys all look very strong; we had a plan and executed it well.” 

Team Time Trials a special discipline

With the ebb and flow of trends, recently team time trials have become something of an endangered animal.  Teams do not have too many opportunities to race them, and so training for the events becomes more difficult too.  “They are not very common these days so it is always an interesting exercise,” Lelangue explained. “But we rode one in Qatar earlier this year and had good preparation for today’s, so we were confident in our abilities.”  The smoothness of a rotation is one of the main keys to a successful ride.  “We had consistent lap times and the rotation worked well,” Chilcott said.  “At one point near the end of the race, Danilo had just made his final pull, but realized a gap was forming and quickly closed it down,” Chilcott described.  “That easily saved us 10 seconds, so I was very happy to see his heads-up attentiveness come into play yet again.”  The general classification is still so close that the day was not about winning the overall, but rather about not losing any chance to fight for it.  “Today was a matter of not losing huge time and keeping our options on the table for the rest of the race,” Chilcott reported.

Two days of climbing ahead

The teams will now have to put the sprinters in their back pockets waiting for Sunday’s final circuit in Atlanta.  For the next two days, however, the climbers and GC contenders will come to the fore.  “Tomorrow has three significant climbs, so we will definitely have to keep Darren and Scott in a good position,” Chilcott predicted.  “It will not be a stage that will really eat up the field, but more a day of conserving our resources and managing our costs to keep ourselves competitive for the Brasstown Bald climb Saturday.”  Darren Lill agreed with this view.  “The guys are feeling strong, and though I have never done Brasstown before,” he said, “I certainly have every hope that I will enjoy it and be able to make use of my strengths on the climb.”