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Chad Beyer rode a great race at Gila (foto by Tim de Waele)
Chad Beyer rode a great race at Gila (foto by Tim de Waele)

Chad Beyer takes 4th in stage, Scott Nydam suffers another broken collarbone

3. May 2009

Silver City

A motivated BMC Racing Team took the start of the Tour of the Gila's most difficult climbing day with a lot of confidence that they would be able to put in a performance which would move them even higher up the leader's board.  Though racing with only three members, they had managed to show themselves to be one of the strongest teams in the entire race. 

The difficulty of the Monster Road Race would be a prime chance to show their strengths.  And though in the finale Chad Beyer did not disappoint his team mates, his overall success was tempered by the fact that BMC's Scott Nydam suffered another hard crash, fracturing his collarbone and sending him to the emergency room.  Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) won the stage while Chad Beyer finished fourth close behind Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer.

Stage lives up to name

"Aside from Scott's crash, the day went pretty well for us," Chad Beyer said.  "Scott had been in a breakaway of 11 or 13 guys but crashed hard, breaking his collarbone and hitting his head really hard."  Directeur Sportif Mike Sayers was following the lead group in the caravan behind.  "We were following the break, and they were going really fast down a descent," Sayers said.  "One minute he was up and then he was down.  I have no idea what happened."  When the chase group containing Beyer and Florian Stalder passed Nydam on the road, they could tell the crash had been pretty serious.  "When we passed him lying on the road, both Florian and I wanted to stop, but Mike radioed to us that Scott was okay and that we should keep riding," Beyer said.  "At that point we decided to give it everything we had and try to win it for Scott." 

Hanging tough on decisive climbs

"Both Florian and Chad road like champions today," Sayers said.  "Unfortunately Florian flatted at an inconvenient moment which probably cost him the top five, but Chad road unbelievably; he and stage winner Phil Zajicek were the only guys able to stay with Lance and Levi when those two were going 100%."  On the second category climb, Stalder punctured and was never able to catch back onto the main group.  "There were a lot of attacks going right at that time, so it was really too bad that Florian had that happen," Beyer said.  "Levi, Lance and Horner were all driving the pace up that climb, constantly popping guys off the back.  They dropped me about halfway up, so I just road my own steady pace and was able to catch back up with them by the top." 

Beyer attacking the leaders

With just the final Cat 4 climb to get up and a greatly weakened field, Beyer attacked the lead group at the base of the climb.  "Guys were dropping off all over the place and after my attack only Levi, Lance and Zajicek were left," Beyer said.  "It looked like Levi was working to get Lance the stage win because he was really pushing the pace all the way up the climb."  With only 300 meters to go, Beyer reached the end of his strength and faded back a little.  "I wanted to win it for Scott, and I certainly left it all out there on the road," Beyer explained.  "Florian was close behind me, so all in all it was a good day for the team."  Sayers who has a special affection and affinity for this race believed the day went just about according to plan.  "Just like I figured, there were only a few guys left standing at the top of the climb.  It would have been amazing to have had Scott up there too since he was riding so well he certainly would have been there.  He was on a really good day."

Scott's condition

"I just got off the phone with team doctor Scott Major and he said that he had spoken with Scott at the hospital and that he is okay.  He hit his head pretty hard and has a haematoma that they are keeping an eye on.  He also broke his other collarbone, so that will be what they will have to focus on in the next several days," Sayers commented.  Nydam will be expected to stay in the hospital until Wednesday.