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Gavin Chilcott and Danilo Wyss in Qatar (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Gavin Chilcott and Danilo Wyss in Qatar (Foto by Tim De Waele)

“We will factor significantly in the future of cycling; that is our goal and our promise.”

1. April 2008

Santa Rosa

With the Spring cycling campaign in full swing, and some of the team’s biggest objectives rapidly approaching, Gavin Chilcott has taken the time to lay out the BMC Racing Team’s goals for this coming April, while reflecting a little on what the team has already accomplished.

Getting to the races

The excitement is building for the young Swiss-American team as they look forward to racing the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of Georgia, the Tour of Romandie, and a combination of Belgian races.  “We are still a young team in the process of developing an infrastructure to run three programs,” Chilcott explained.  With only 16 racers, Chilcott and Directeur Sportif, John Lelangue, the logistical challenges of running a program on two continents must be enormous.  “I spent a considerable amount of time with [head mechanics] Ian Sherburne and Vincent Gee recently planning how to get the relevant bikes to the relevant locations,” Chilcott reported.  BMC the frame manufacturer helps a great deal by providing storage space for materials in Europe.  “And eventually, we will have a more developed infrastructure which will streamline our operations substantially.”

An excellent start to the season gives the team confidence, great expectations

The team performed very well at the Tour of California, which certainly increased their profile in the racing ranks, and expectations are high.  “Though we certainly performed very well at the TOC, the performances were representative of what we thought was possible,” Chilcott reasoned.  “If anything, the primary change is the level of confidence in our ability to assess the team’s potential and set expectations appropriately.”  The positive proof the riders keep displaying will find everyone hoping for great things in Georgia, Romandie and beyond.  Last year Scott Nydam took sixth place at the Tour of Georgia.  Compound that with his stellar performance at the recent Tour of California, and there is no wonder why expectations will be high.  “Scott will have progressively more responsibility for good performances,” Chilcott reported.  “He has the physical ability for this, and now needs to take stock in the leadership demands that this imposes.” 
Redlands and Romandie: Prime terrain for climbers

The BMC roster for Redlands will be top-heavy with climbers.  Jeff Louder, Scott Nydam, Nathan Miller, Brent Bookwalter, and Steve Bovay will all be taking the start.  Add to that the fast finishers like Taylor Tolleson, Tony Cruz and Jackson Stewart, and the team will be in a position to challenge for every stage and even the overall.  Someone who has been out of racing action since breaking his collarbone in the Tour of Qatar is Swiss neo-pro, Steve Bovay.  “We’re still learning what to expect from Steve, but so far he has met or exceeded expectations at every opportunity,” Chilcott said of their young protégé.  Due to his early season injury, the management will be respectful of the challenges he will face returning to competition, “but Steve is a motivated rider with a great attitude toward racing in America, so I think he could demonstrate himself as a serious contender in Redlands.”   For Bovay, that motivation will be redoubled when he races the Tour of Romandie, effectively his home race.  “I am already thinking about Romandie because it's at home and on my training's roads!” Bovay reported.  “It will be the team’s first ProTour race, so it won't be easy, but I am focusing on it and I'll try my best!” 

Getting the mix right

Chilcott is clear that the foundations for the future success of the team are being laid right now.  “Credit goes largely to how hard the staff works behind the scenes and with the riders,” Chilcott is keen to acknowledge.  “I see each and every day, our staff cares and it shows.”  With the current upheaval in the sport, Chilcott is confident that the BMC Racing Team is built to last, and will grow to prominence in the sport.  “We have designed our team to be what we believe will carry us through this cultural revolution and into the future of the sport,” Chilcott said.  “We will race with honor and courage, and will factor in the future of this sport at the highest levels.”  The team culture is one of support and friendship.  Gavin Chilcott and John Lelangue work happily together, splitting the duties between them.  They plan the race schedules for the riders in a way to challenge the riders while still putting them in positions where success is very possible.  Chilcott believes that Lelangue will guide the riders in their growth and make them better racers for it.  “The riders’ coming of age is completed much more gracefully with a definitive authority such as John to tell them the night before the race that they have their place, that they will fight and that they will learn and succeed,” Chilcott explained.  The recipe has worked so far, and everyone is looking to the future with optimism.