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Mathias Frank hopes for better results in Belgium this coming Wednesday (foto by Tim de Waele)
Mathias Frank hopes for better results in Belgium this coming Wednesday (foto by Tim de Waele)

Rough day in the saddle for BMC at Ronde van het Groene Hart

22. March 2009

Woerden

Anxious to make the most of every northern European race in preparation for their debut at the Paris-Roubaix later next month, BMC entered the Ronde van het Groene Hart with hopes of adding to their top 10 finishes. 

The race which meanders 203 kilometers from Zoetermeer, just outside The Hague, to Woerden, just west of Utrecht, offers no cobbles to speak of, though the strong wind is a constant hazard.  BMC fell short of its goals for the race while Gert Omloop (Bel) of the Palmans-Cras team won the day sprinting out of a 20-plus man lead group. 

Missing the split, chasing hard

"Today definitely did not go well for us," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue explained.  "We had good objectives with our strong sprinters and felt as though we were well prepared to fight for the final sprint victory."  Realizing that the Dutch race typically ends in a medium-sized bunch gallop, BMC brought to the race its group of talented sprinters including Markus Zberg, Tony Cruz, Danilo Wyss and Martin Kohler.  The flat, narrow roads became treacherous in the constant cross-winds.  "The whole day there was a very strong side wind which formed multiple echelons and made it a very hard day," BMC's Mathias Frank said.  Racing in the Netherlands is also complicated by the large amount of road furniture and roundabouts the riders must deal with.  "At 50km, there was a split in the peloton with about 20 to 25 guys in the front," Lelangue explained.  "Unfortunately, none of our riders made that split."  Three BMC riders did stay in the 2nd group on the road, and worked hard to reconnect with the leaders.  "After the spilt, Martin, Markus and I were chasing the leaders for 60 or 70 kilometers," Mathias Frank explained.  "We were always only 30, 40 or 50 seconds back while chasing, but we never were able to close the gap." 

Taking stock, recovering for more northern racing this week

"There is no need to deny that we are very disappointed with this result," Lelangue explained.  "The guys are healthy and well-trained, so there is no reason why we shouldn't be fighting for the top 10 in a race like this."  Anxious to get some solid results under their belts before the prime of the season, BMC is hoping to pick up steam in their upcoming events in Belgium and Northern France.  "April is a big month for us with some big races," Lelangue said.  "Every race is not always going to go our way, but I want to get a reaction from the guys because we need at least to be approaching our goals by now."  The riders are also aware that they need to keep working till the tide turns in their favour.  "Today when the split happen, we were just a heart beat away from making the gap, but it didn't work in the end," Frank explained.  "We will now head to the race course for our event on Wednesday in Belgium and work to make better things happen for the team in that race."