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onathan Garcia crashed badly and needed stitches.
onathan Garcia crashed badly and needed stitches.

In dangerous evening crit, BMC conserved resources, keeping Louder and Lill safe; Jonathan Garcia crashed hard, though, and required stitches

12. July 2008

BMC’s strong performance in the afternoon’s time trial firmly put its two GC contenders, Jeff Louder and Darren Lill in the top 10.

With Louder sitting in 3rd and Lill not far behind in 6th overall, the team decided to play it safe in the very dangerous criterium which found many riders crashing.  BMC managed to preserve its position; however, powerhouse Jonathan Garcia crashed badly and needed stitches.

With bigger ambitions for the weekend of racing, BMC plays it safe in crit


The team’s consistent performances so far in the race have earned BMC a place in the top 3 of the team classification from stage 1.  Since the Cascade Downtown Crit offered very few options for movement up the GC, the team husband its resources and stayed as safe as possible.  “The game plan for tonight was to conserve and preserve Jeff and Darren’s position,” Gavin Chilcott explained.  “The nice results from the ITT moved us into a position where a fight for the GC becomes a real possibility.”  With the team facing heavier responsibilities in the road race stages to follow this weekend, the crit became a minefield of dangers with few opportunities.  “We have a game plan now for how to ride the rest of the race,” Chilcott said.  “It was a hairy crit with tons of crashes.”  Unfortunately for the team, Jonathan Garcia who has ridden so strongly for the team this week, and who is just coming back from a tough crash at the Tour of Switzerland, crashed again in the criterium.  “Jonathan had a bad crash during the race and needed stitches; he didn’t finish the stage, but depending on how they read the rules about lapped riders, he hopefully will be allowed to start tomorrow,” Chilcott said.  “I am really sorry this happened to Jonathan in particular because he is so hungry to get in the mix.  Luckily the doctor at the race site gave him fantastic attendance which will be a huge help in Jonathan’s recovery efforts.”  

The breakaway stabilizes the crit racing

“Luckily a break was away for almost the entire race, but it gained too much time nor did it have any real threats,” Chilcott explained.  “Jeff and Darren are very good about positioning themselves and keeping out of trouble.”  One member of the BMC Racing Team who is learning about the rough and tumble world of American criterium racing is the young Swiss climber, Steve Bovay.  “I’m certainly not a criterium specialist since this style of racing is not very common in Europe,” he said.  “But I was okay tonight; at least I didn’t crash, and that is quite an accomplishment.”  “Steve has the look in his eye of someone who was invited to a barbeque and now finds himself pressed into a rugby game,” Chilcott colourfully described.  “I wasn’t riding really well the first stage, maybe because of the long trip from Switzerland,” Bovay explained, “but each day I’m getting better and better, so I hope to be able to help the team improve our GC position.”  With the status quo remaining in the GC after Friday night’s criterium, BMC is in the difficult position of dislodging Levi Leipheimer from the Cascade lead.  “Levi is one of the strongest cyclists in the world right now, so it will be difficult to get past him,” Bovay explained.  “But he has only one team mate at the race so maybe there is a chance to make something happen in our favour.”