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Alexandre Moos: “I am happy with my performance; the KOM jersey is always good to have.” (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Alexandre Moos: “I am happy with my performance; the KOM jersey is always good to have.” (Foto by Tim De Waele)

BMC’s Alexandre Moos wins KOM jersey while Martin Kohler takes bad fall in sprint

16. May 2008


The Tour de Picardie opened Friday starting in the historic northern town of Crécy-en-Ponthieu and winding its way 179 km to the equally historic town of Guise.

Though Picardie usually acts as a battle ground for the sprinters, a glance at the stage profiles quickly reveals that this is hardly a flat ride in the country.  The jagged profile offers multiple King of the Mountain opportunities, guaranteeing that the mass sprint for the stage would be a battle of the strongmen remaining.

Following up on good form from Romandie

The climbs dished out by the Tour of Picardie are short and explosive.  Few are longer than a kilometre, but they are hard enough to be prime hunting territory for a climber like Alex Moos.  Coming directly from Romandie, Moos was anxious to fight for the KOM prizes.  “I had good legs today and felt very well,” Moos said after the stage.  “I am happy with my performance; the KOM jersey is always good to have.”  The race started off very fast, well outpacing the expected arrival times for the first 2 hours.  “No breaks were getting away,” Directeur Sportif John Lelangue reported. “People were trying, but the peloton was shutting everything down, so no one was getting away.”  American Tony Cruz is using the Tour de Picardie as his comeback race after breaking his collarbone in April.  “I felt a lot better than I thought I would,” Cruz said.  “It was very fast, and I was really suffering in the third hour, but it is great to be back with the team.”  
Going for the win

BMC brought their three top sprinters to Picardie.  Danilo Wyss, Tony Cruz and Martin Kohler all have very fast finishes in their legs.  Today, though, the plan was to set up Kohler for the sprint.  “We wanted to get Martin in a position for the win,” Lelangue said.  “But just as the final sprint was winding up, the rider in front of Martin crashed, and took Martin and Brent Bookwalter down.”  Bookwalter only suffered minor scrapes on his arms, in contrast to Kohler who finished pretty banged up.  “Martin didn’t break anything, which is the most important thing,” Lelangue said.  “But he has a lot of road rash, and we will have to see how he gets through the night, and then make a decision in the morning about his continuing.”  Kohler too came away from the Tour of Romandie with stellar form, and was looking forward to making something happen in Picardie.  However, with three top sprinters, BMC has the luxury of choice.  “Tomorrow we will probably be working for Danilo,” Tony Cruz predicted, “but I would certainly like to do something special this race too, so maybe one of the stages on Sunday will be for me.”

Defending the KOM

As there are six côtes to get over in Saturday’s stage 2, the team will have multiple opportunities to defend and advance Moos’ lead in the KOM.  “We are happy to be on the podium with Alex’s KOM, and tomorrow we will try to defend it,” Lelangue said.  “These first two stages are always up and down; then things flatten out Sunday once we get nearer the coast.”   Moos too likes his chances for keeping the jersey. “I will have to see what happens with the stages,” he said.  “Of course I would like to keep it through the weekend.”