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Thomas Frei looking to have a strong time trial Sunday (foto by Tim de Waele)
Thomas Frei looking to have a strong time trial Sunday (foto by Tim de Waele)

Making the most of options, BMC is well placed going into Belgium time trial

30. maggio 2009

Fléron

Living up to expectations, stage 4 of the Tour of Belgium shredded the peloton which had steeled itself to face the day of difficult climbing.  Though at the end of stage 3 the top 92 riders were separated by 36 seconds, the 174 kilometer course around Fléron chopped up the pack into little groups, introducing significant time gaps outside the top 5 as a result. 

Though the overall lead is now currently held by Rabobank's Lars Boom, his one second margin can hardly be considered sufficient to guarantee victory in the face of the time trial which is to come on Sunday.   BMC's Thomas Frei rode strongly to finish in 14th place, keeping himself in a good position to hop into the top 10 with a strong ride in the stage 5 time trial.

Strong presence in all breaks keeps BMC well placed throughout stage

"Today was a very good race for all our guys," John Lelangue said.  "We knew it was going to be a hard stage, so we worked all day to make it even harder."  Since the team was well represented on the leader board coming into the stage, BMC had the luxury to play some very strong cards.  "I am really happy with the way all our guys rode today because they were always at the front and everyone was looking to accomplish everything that was asked of him," Lelangue said.  "We had Florian in breaks, Mathias in breaks, everyone today fought to stay in the best positions to be ready for the opportunities."  The team's best chance to make an impact on the stage came with one of the day's largest and most dangerous breaks.

Working to snag the stage, protecting the team leaders

"In the major break of 17 riders that got away, we were the only team to be represented by three guys," Lelangue explained.  "We had Jeff, Ian and Mathias there which was great for us since they have all lost a bit of time before today, but are all very strong and riding really well."  However, this large break was reeled in by the main group just before the fireworks really started to happen.  "When the break was caught everything exploded," Lelangue said.  "All of a sudden the pack was decimated and lots of little survival groups were forming."  The carnage left on the road resulted in huge gaps being left at the finishing line.  "We had Thomas Frei well placed and riding strongly," Lelangue said.  "He finished with one of the front groups along with Jurgen Roelandts and Serguei Ivanov, so now he is just outside the top 10 with still the time trial to make up the difference."

Frei a strong time triallist

Though still young, Thomas Frei has for several years been considered one of Switzerland's best riders against the clock.  "I am quite a good time triallist and I am continually improving," Frie said.  "So I generally like my chances against the clock."  With just 20 seconds to make up in order to spring into 10th place overall, Frei will be BMC's best chance to hit their goal of another top 10 result.  "Since Thomas is one of our best time triallists, I feel very happy with the situation in which we find ourselves," Lelangue said.  "Everyone is in good shape and able to do everything we ask of him, so I think we can say this has already been a very successful tour for us."