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Scott Nydam confident in the team's chances at Gila (foto by AbbiOrca.com)
Scott Nydam confident in the team's chances at Gila (foto by AbbiOrca.com)

Scott Nydam scores 9th in Gila TT, sits 9th overall

2. May 2009

Silver City

Facing an individual time trial on a difficult course which must be ridden at altitude, the participants at the Tour of the Gila had to be very careful how they approached Friday's stage. 

That Levi Leipheimer set a course record in his winning ride belies the fact that the surrounding conditions were far from propitious.  The BMC trio rode a strong race with Nydam the team's best finisher barely two minutes behind Leipheimer.  Chad Beyer and Florian Stalder were close behind their team mate, each within 30 seconds of Nydam's time.  With two more stages left in the event, including the Monster Road Race on Sunday, the Tour of the Gila is still very much a race where anything can happen.

Unforgiving circumstances

"This is a very difficult time trial because it is hard to know how to gauge your efforts at altitude," Scott Nydam explained.  "It is a fine line between going at your consistent limit and digging just that little bit too deep to recover."  The out-and-back course meant that the riders had a tail wind on the way out and a head wind on the way home, further complicating the riders' plans on how to dose out efforts.  In spite of Leipheimer's record ride, the conditions did not make for a fast course.  "There certainly was no faking it out there since it is a good half hour of just going as hard as you can without blowing up," Nydam said.  "I feel my effort was well gauged where I tried to make up time on the climbs and recover a bit on the descents."  Team Director Mike Sayers was pleased that his crew managed to keep close to the top 10 in the GC: "It's good that Scott had a top 10 ride because that keeps us in for the hunt through Sunday," Sayers explained. 

Getting the most out of each other

Though there are two stages left in the race, everyone is banking on Sunday's Monster Road Race as being the place where real changes to the GC can happen.  "Tomorrow's crit probably won't shake things up too much," Nydam predicted.  "There is a little climb on the backside of the course which should help to keep things together a bit."  The general plan for all GC contenders then will revolve around staying safe in the criterium and saving the big guns for Sunday's stage.  "All eyes are set for Sunday, there's no doubt about that," Nydam confirmed.  "Considering everything, since it is just three of us, I think we are really getting the most out of each other and anything is possible still.  We certainly will be aiming for at least a podium position by Sunday night."  Mike Sayers is keen to see the BMC riders get time to recover between now and the road race.  "It is such a tight schedule with a late crit Saturday and then an early call for the stage Sunday that it is very important that the guys get as much rest as possible," Sayers explained.  "The guys are strong and we're confident about our chances."