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Mathias Frank and Thomas Frei filling out the Swiss podium (Foto by Blick/Keystone)
Mathias Frank and Thomas Frei filling out the Swiss podium (Foto by Blick/Keystone)

Mathias Frank and Thomas Frei sandwich Cancellara on the podium at Swiss Nationals

28. June 2009

Nyon

With three riders in the top ten and a fourth in the top 12, BMC can be very satisfied with their performance at the Swiss National Road Race Championships in Nyon.  In fact, with their riders taking 2nd and 3rd place, a double podium finish is definitely a top result for this young team. 

However, once again victory eluded the young riders from BMC, finding Mathias Frank chalking up his second 2nd place finish for this year's championships after he missed winning the time trial by just two seconds on Wednesday.  Nevertheless, after taking 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 12th in the road race, BMC can certainly be proud of their team work for the day.

Another strong team showing

"Taking 2nd and 3rd is an accomplishment for this team, especially seeing how strong Cancellara is at the moment," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.  "We knew that the race tactics would be to ride with all the major attacks and we succeeded in doing that."  With 8 riders, BMC had the luxury of multiple cards to play meaning that they were able to place three strong riders in what would become the day's winning breakaway.  "Several splinter attack groups joined together to form a break of about 18 riders, and we had three guys among them," Lelangue said.  "Though Cancellara was in the front group too, most of the other favourites missed the move."  With Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei and Florian Stalder in the group of 18, BMC could feel confident in committing to the success of the breakaway.

Working the break

"Having three of us in that break was very good for the team," Frank explained.  "When Cancellara attacked with a couple laps to go, only Thomas and I were able to go with him."  While his teammates were trading pulls with Cancellara, Florian Stalder hung back with the second group to control any attempts to bridge up to the leading three.   "Florian rode in the second group which had about four riders, and he completely controlled them which meant that no one was going to be able to catch Frank, Frei and Cancellara," Lelangue explained.  Further back in the main peloton, the remaining BMC riders were also making their presence felt.  "With four laps to go, I attacked the main bunch to try and bridge up to the breakaway," out-going Swiss Champion Markus Zberg described.  "Cancellara knew I was making the move and chose to punch the break at that point which meant that I wasn't able to make the connection; but Mathias and Thomas did an amazing job staying with Cancellara."  "The teamwork was just amazing today," Frank reiterated.  "Florian did a great job controlling the situation behind us and the guys in the pack were also not sleeping but were riding hard to control the race." 

Two silvers and one bronze for the week

For John Lelangue perhaps the most encouraging aspect of this week's Nationals results is that the podium positions BMC has won have come courtesy of some of their youngest riders.  "These two young guns, Mathias and Thomas, are part of our new generation and I am really happy to see them and guys like Florian doing such a good job this week at Swiss Nationals," Lelangue explained.  "We have no regrets about today since we were beaten by one of the best, and with such good teamwork there is no way we can be disappointed with this result even if it means we are losing the jersey for the rest of the year."  For his part, Mathias Frank can look forward to trading up his medal colour in the coming years.  "I still have time," Frank said.  "I have some silver medals to show for my efforts now, but it would be nice to win the jersey sometime in the future."