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Danilo Wyss and the rest of the BMC team once more find themselves in the wilds of northern Europe (foto by Tim de Waele)
Danilo Wyss and the rest of the BMC team once more find themselves in the wilds of northern Europe (foto by Tim de Waele)

Danilo Wyss grabs 12th in crazy Franco Belge stage one sprint

1. October 2009


The Circuit Franco Belge kicks off October racing for the professional peloton.  The four day stage race will challenge the rider's tired legs with long stages and the ever-present threat of strong cross-winds. 

Thursday's stage one ended in a mass sprint with red-hot Tyler Farrar of Garmin snatching another late-season victory.  Though there were moments where the pack threatened to split off into dangerous echelons, calmness generally ruled the day with only a doomed three man breakaway to animate it.  BMC's Danilo Wyss managed to take 12th in the hectic sprint which had 200 riders vying for the stage victory and overall lead. 

A day for the sprinters

"Today was a long stage where a small break of three managed to escape," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue explained.  "I told our team that there was no hope for a break with fewer than five riders since there are so many strong sprinters here."  The breakaway numbers never added up correctly which meant that the BMC riders decided to save their energy instead of making useless efforts.  "Though there are no real climbs or cobbles, the stage was very difficult since the guys are constantly fighting for position on the narrow roads," Lelangue said.  "Considering all the strong teams that are here, we must be very particular how we use our resources."  The team's best finisher on the day, Danilo Wyss spent a quiet day in the group, saving up for the battles still to come.  "We were able to pass the day pretty calmly," Wyss said.  "Though a small group did get away, it became clear very quickly that the day would end in a mass sprint." 

Four days of fighting for position

"With so many top sprinters here like Boonen, Farrar, Napolitano, and Haedo, there were a lot of sprinters with a chance to win today," Wyss said.  "Considering the competition and that nothing went wrong in the sprint, I can be pretty satisfied with my finish."  Aside from a few bonification seconds which were awarded out on the course and at the finish line, the majority of the peloton is still on the same time.  "Though a couple of our guys were gapped near the end, we are all still well placed in the main pack," Lelangue said. "Since today was so calm there was little chance of separation, but we know that a couple of the stages to come should have important splits in the field."  With the group BMC brought to this race, they certainly have some riders fast enough to take top places from small bunch sprints.  "We hope that there will be a stage where only 20 or so are left at the finish," Lelangue said. "If we can have several riders in there, then we will be well placed for the race."