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The Governor and the King of the Mountain: Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulates Jackson Stewart.
The Governor and the King of the Mountain: Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulates Jackson Stewart.

It was a very good day

20. febbraio 2008


After yesterday’s exploits from team BMC, few would have bet money on such a young team’s chances for repeating their success just one day later.  But happily after stage two, BMC’s Jackson Stewart holds the King of the Mountains jersey and Scott Nydam has earned the Most Aggressive Rider award.
Though the Tour of California’s Stage 2 which took the riders from Santa Rosa to Sacramento had only two climbs early on in the race, few would have been surprised to see Jackson Stewart lose both jerseys.  That the team not only protected Jackson’s KOM classification, but also won the Most Aggressive award again through the solo breakaway of Scott Nydam is testament to the team’s preparedness, strength and tactical acumen.  “It was a very good day for us,” John Lelangue said after the stage.

And they’re off…again!

“We wanted to get either Scott or Taylor Tolleson into the early break today,” Lelangue explained. “It turned out to be another long solo effort by one of our guys, which really isn’t what we wanted, but when we saw that Scott was going well enough to get to the top of Trinity first for the KOM points, we decided to go with it.”  Some commentators seemed to wonder why Scott didn’t wait for the Kelly Benefits rider who was quite close at one point.  When asked this question, Lelangue replied, “The guy who was behind Scott for a bit was not really a good climber.  Going up Trinity he kept losing time on Scott, so there was really no point to slow down for him.  If he had been a better climber, then it would have been tactically wise to wait, but as it was, there really was no logic to Scott slowing down for him.”

The fruits of the team’s labours

Unlike the recent BMC excursion to the Tour of Qatar where bad luck followed the team around like a hound dog, most pre-race plans have been resulting in big gains for the riders.  “Not only did we have Scott up front, but Jackson was in the pack taking points on both the KOM climbs, and Alex Moss was helping out by grabbing whatever points remained so that other teams couldn’t get them,” Lelangue was pleased to report.  “And in addition to that, Danilo Wyss was in good position at the final sprint, and came close I think to the top 10, which is quite an accomplishment for such a young rider in such a strong sprinting field in these wet conditions.”  With a big climbing stage coming tomorrow, the team can feel proud for what it has already accomplished: two riders are in two jerseys and their three strong General Classification riders, Moos, Lill and Louder, have all stayed out of trouble and in contention.  Add to that the fact that BMC has been the most talked about team in the race, and BMC certainly can feel satisfaction with how the race has unfolded.

Laying the battle plans for Stage 3

With the dreaded Mt. Hamilton climb to come, does BMC plan on defending the KOM jersey?  “Yes of course,” John Lelange said. “We’ll have to see how the guys feel, but we have two riders doing very well in that classification, so we will certainly try our luck at holding onto it.”  Aside from that, tomorrow will be a day where the GC pretenders will be separated from the contenders. “Alex is riding well as are Jeff Louder and Darren Lill,” Lelangue reported.  “On paper Alex is the strongest in experience and fitness at the moment, but we will be working to protect and help all three of them, in case some mishap befalls one of them, there is always another to take up the fight.”  With the Tour of California approaching its halfway point, several questions should be answered by Wednesday afternoon.