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BMC sees big things ahead for Chris Barton after this breakout season (foto by   )
BMC sees big things ahead for Chris Barton after this breakout season (foto by )

Consistently strong performances earn four BMC riders spots at Worlds

21. September 2009

Santa Rosa

Since racing for a rider's country is something that only happens once a year at the World Championships or every four years at the Olympics, it is naturally a great honor to be chosen to be among the national contingency. 

BMC will be sending three Americans and two Swiss either to be first choices or alternates to the Worlds competitions.  Jeff Louder (US, elite road race), Brent Bookwalter (US, elite road race), Chris Barton (US, U23 road race), Mathias Frank (Swiss, elite road race, TT reserve) and Thomas Frei (Swiss, TT reserve) have all proved themselves this year to be consistent enough to earn a place on their countries' Championship teams.

Late season motivation

Since most of the BMC riders and indeed the entire professional field, began racing as early as January or February this year, the question of fatigue and motivation always plays a large role in who races Worlds and who succeeds.  "It can be tough still to be motivated this late in the season, but with something like Worlds to look forward to, it really gives you something to be motivated for!" Jeff Louder explained.  This will only be Louder's second appearance with the US National team at Worlds, so he will certainly be keen to make the most of the opportunity.  "Only nine guys are chosen out of the entire US field, so it is a great honor to be among them," he said.  "The National Team has been working to build a team around a long-term goal of becoming more competitive against the powerhouse National teams like Italy and Spain, so it is pretty special to be a part of that push."  Brent Bookwalter will be making his second consecutive appearance at Worlds for the US, and also feels that the team building aspect of the event is what makes the experience particularly important.  "I've talked with Noel Dejonckheere and the other directors of the National squad, and they are clear about their goals of building to a higher level with the team," Bookwalter explained.  "I don't know yet what role I will play in their efforts, but I will be happy to do whatever I can to help the team succeed." 

Long race after a long season

"Since I had a chance to preview the course last year when we were in the region, I am fairly familiar with the climbs," Bookwalter said.  "It's a daunting amount of climbing we'll be doing, and I can probably count on one hand the number of races I have done which are longer that 250 kilometers.  So it will almost certainly be the hardest race I've done this year tactically, logistically, physically, and mentally."  Since American riders have managed to rack up a large number of UCI points throughout the year, the American National team will be among those allowed to send the maximum of nine riders.  "Even though several of the guys who were instrumental in gaining the US enough points to send the maximum number of riders will not be racing at Worlds themselves, it's important to me that those of us who will be there show our respect to the efforts of guys like Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and the others by doing our best to get a top result," Bookwalter said.  "It would be really nice to show that we have what it takes to make the most of this opportunity."   Chris Barton will be representing the US in the Under-23 category.  He has proved in races throughout the year for both the national team and BMC, that he is a strong team player who can snatch opportunities when they arise.  "The World's course is really difficult this year. I pre-rode it last year and it is all climbing and technical descending with not much time to catch your breath," Barton explained.  "It will be very selective this year in that you will need to ride exclusively in the front and also have the legs to back up positioning skills."

Flying the flag for Switzerland, too

Mathias Frank has been one of BMC's most consistent riders in the one week stage races this year giving good performances at the Dauphiné Libéré, Tour of Romandie, Tour de Wallonie and Tour of Ireland to name just a few.  He also took two silver medals at the Swiss National championships, barely missing out on a gold medal in both the time trial and the road race.  Being chosen to join the Fabian Cancellara-led Swiss team, Frank feels, "is a direct result of my consistent performances throughout the year."   Since Cancellara is one of the top favourites for victory in the road race as well as the time trial, Frank will have a very definitely defined role to help his compatriot win the rainbow jersey.  “With Fabian Cancellara and Michael Albasisi we have two riders who have a real chance at winning a medal. I will do my best to help them ride to victory and gain a place on the podium," Frank explained. "I am most interested in being present and active in whatever my tasks are, and to do a good job; that will make the race a success for me."