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Steve Bovay working hard for the team in Canada (foto by Tim De Waele)
Steve Bovay working hard for the team in Canada (foto by Tim De Waele)

Steve Bovay finished a strong 7th on Queen Stage at Beauce

12. June 2009

Mont-Mégantic

Facing one of the hardest climbing stages in North America with their top sprinter in the lead, BMC knew that defending the race lead would be a complicated task. 

Danilo Wyss put in a valiant ride on the uphill finish, clocking in just a few bike lengths behind some of the strongest climbers in the domestic peloton.  Nevertheless, Wyss lost the lead in the face of an extremely impressive display of climbing strength by two Columbian riders who finished first and second on the stage.  Darwin Atapuma of the Colombian National Team took the stage win while his teammate Sergio Luis Henao finished second, gaining enough time to take the overall lead from Wyss.  The two Columbians had shed their breakaway companions, including BMC's Steve Bovay who came in 7th place on the stage.

Bovay gives BMC strong presence in the breakaway

"After 30 kilometers of racing Tony Cruz and I got into a breakaway with about 20 guys, but unfortunately we were reabsorbed about 50 kilometers later," Steve Bovay explained.  "Then after another 10 kilometers we got into a second break which included Tony again and Martin Kohler; some of the riders from this break stayed away until the finish."  With three strong riders in this second large breakaway, BMC was able to relax the rest of their riders in the peloton.  "With three guys in that break, and Steve in particular riding so well, the rest of the team was able to take the day off a little bit," Director Mike Sayers said.  "A few key teams missed the break and had to work pretty hard chasing it back, which is good for us."   The lead breakaway shrunk from over 20 to just about a dozen riders by the start of the Mount Mégantic.  "The two Columbians pulled the group for about 30 kilometers before the climb and basically managed to hold off three teams committed to chasing," Sayers said.  "Then once the climb started they were gone in a real definitive show of strength."  Bovay had a front row seat to the climbing fireworks.  "I went my own rhythm up the hill because the Columbian riders were obviously very strong," Bovay said.  "I am a little disappointed because I wanted to finish better, but I typically do not like climbs of such a stiff gradient (18%)." 

Wyss climbs above and beyond expectations

"Danilo rode like a champion," Sayers said.  "He must have been in the top five of the finishers coming out of the pack; I was amazed when I saw him so close to Darren Lill and Ben Day."  Though not exactly resigned to losing the lead, Wyss realized that defending the jersey on a climbing stage such as this would be a very difficult task.  "I knew very well that keeping the lead today would be complicated especially since the Columbian climbers are very impressive," Wyss admitted.  "But I was climbing very well within myself even after the entire breakaway and peloton had exploded; only on the steep last 2 kilometers of the climb did I loose contact with the very front of the group."  Sayers is generally pleased with the performance of his riders.  "The day went close to how we had predicted it would go, and I am very happy with how well Steve and Danilo rode today," Sayers reported.  "Though there is a time trial tomorrow morning, the potential for any real shake up in the standings will come on Saturday and Sunday."  The meaty part of the course will come during Saturday's circuit race around Quebec City.  "That stage could blow things up even more than today's stage did," Sayers predicted.