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Louder laid it all out on the road Sunday at Cascade (foto by Tim de Waele)
Louder laid it all out on the road Sunday at Cascade (foto by Tim de Waele)

Jeff Louder finishes on Cascade podium for second year in a row

27. July 2009

Bend

With a clear plan to go out and attack from kilometer zero, the BMC Racing Team threw everything they had into cracking the race leader from Rock Racing, Oscar Sevilla.  The Cascade Summit High School road race course certainly offered a tough enough terrain to put at least a sting into the competition's legs. 

In the end, though, the race elements worked against the team's best efforts, finding Louder being overtaken by Francisco Mancebo by hundredths of a second.  He can add this third place overall finish at Cascade to the second place he took last year behind Levi Leipheimer.  Oscar Sevilla, another world class climber managed to secure the overall victory for the 2009 edition of the race.

Attack from the flag

"We went on the attack from the drop of the flag and did our best to crack the group," Director Mike Sayers explained after the race.  "We got no help from any of the other teams who seemed content to give the race away."  Not ready to say uncle, BMC sent rider after rider out on the attack over a course which had enough climbing to cramp even the strongest men.  After having worked so hard in the main break in the Saturday night criterium, Jackson Stewart once again acted the role of perfect teammate by getting into the day's main break of nine men.  "We had Jackson in the main break and he rode like a maniac," Sayers said.  "Behind him we continued to attack, attack, attack."  Though BMC had second and fourth place going into the final stage their race philosophy for the day bordered on all or nothing.  "We had Ian make several attacks but by the end of the day he blew sky high and lost his placing," Sayers said.  Louder explained the entire team raced with the same goal in mind: "My goal was to take the risk to fight for the win, and everyone else on the team was on the same page as I was, so it was a great day of racing for us from that point of view." 

Team rallies around Louder

With Stewart still in the front group of nine, Louder attacked over the final climb, making his last-ditch effort to pop the Rock Racing duo off the back.  "Jeff put in a huge dig over the last climb which looked like it might do the trick," Sayers said.  "But Mancebo worked hard to drag Sevilla up to Jeff, and after the effort he had already made, Jeff had a tough time holding their wheels."  By the finish line, Louder had lost just enough time to lose his second place overall to Mancebo.  "It was kind of the way we played the game today, it was all or nothing," Louder explained.  "I was really impressed with the way the team rode and we just have to accept when it turns up nothing." 

All or nothing

Though the team achieved a lot more than nothing throughout the five stage race, they did not reach the top step of the podium which was essentially the only thing they were interested in.  "We had a great day of trying with everyone committed to the same goal," Louder said.  "We definitely could have ridden more conservatively and I would have kept my second place, but after last year, what was another second place going to mean to me?"    Aware that riders like Oscar Sevilla and Francisco Mancebo are strong enough to race in France in July, BMC knew that they would indeed be the riders to beat at Cascade.  "We tried to be aggressive and hopefully put a little sting in their legs," Louder said.  "But Sevilla had a comfortable lead and in the end they are both great racers, strong tacticians."