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Jeff Louder (pictured) and Ian McKissick pull out fine TT's at Cascade (foto Tim de Waele)
Jeff Louder (pictured) and Ian McKissick pull out fine TT's at Cascade (foto Tim de Waele)

Ian McKissick earns 2nd place in Cascade TT, Jeff Louder defends GC position

24. July 2009

Bend

Cascade's difficult Summit High School time trial has managed to shake up the leader board again with just three more stages to go in the event. 

Bissell's time trial ace Tom Zirbel succeeded in stealing the thunder of all the climbers shooting for the overall victory by taking the stage win in emphatic fashion.  BMC's Ian McKissick found his time trialling legs and chalked up an impressive second place on the stage in a time which will surely see him move up the general classification.  Jeff Louder rode a solid race which will keep him very much in the hunt for the top step of the podium come Sunday. 

Tactically well placed after TT

"I think the stage went pretty well for me even if I couldn't find that extra gear I had last year," Jeff Louder said.  "And Ian did an amazing race so I'm really happy to see him fulfil his time trialling potential, especially since it will see him move forward on the GC."  In 2008, Louder took second place in the time trial behind eventual race winner, Levi Leipheimer.  "Last year I still had a lot of spill-over form from Tour de Suisse and right now I'm more or less building for Utah and the races that come after," Louder explained.  "But I had a pretty solid ride and if I'm just behind guys like Zirbel, Ian and Sevilla, then I can't be too upset."  BMC Directeur Sportif Mike Sayers admitted to being pleased to be in their current tactical position.  "Not to say that I don't think we could defend the jersey, but I'm glad we don't have to," Sayers explained.  "I think we can be really effective chipping away at Rock Racing and doing some damage that way."  Louder concurred.  "As nice as it is to have the jersey, from a tactical point of view, it's always more efficient to take the lead as late in the race as possible."

Tough days to overcome tough competition

"We came into the event thinking that Rock with the squad they have here would be the team to beat," Sayers said.  "So we're not surprised that Sevilla and Mancebo are so strong."  Though Rock Racing has several of the best climbers in the field on their roster, the team by no means has a vice grip on the overall lead.  "Sevilla will be hard to beat and Rock Racing obviously has a pretty good team," Louder said.  "But with the mountain top finish Friday and then the tough stage on Sunday, there are still plenty of opportunities to claw back time."  BMC can feel confident in the quality and depth of their riders at the race.  "Our team has more depth than just about any other team at the race, so we are far from conceding anything just yet," Louder said.  With the very difficult Cascade Lakes road race facing the riders on Friday, it is pretty evident that it will be another day for the climbers.  "Friday's stage starts out with a 10 mile climb," Sayers said.  "It'll be a race between the best climbers pretty quickly and that should play to our advantage."