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Brent Bookwalter snagged another great result in stage 1 at the Dauphiné (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Brent Bookwalter snagged another great result in stage 1 at the Dauphiné (Foto by Tim De Waele)

Brent Bookwalter takes excellent 15th in Dauphiné stage 1

7. June 2009


BMC's Brent Bookwalter put in a very strong performance in the Dauphiné's first stage time trial by finishing 15th just 42 seconds behind the day's winner, Cadel Evans. 

In what could justifiably called the most important stage race BMC has ever entered, the entire team acquitted itself well, placing five riders within a good minute of the leader.  Such a result in a race of this caliber bodes well for the team's performance for the rest of the week.

Nice to have the show on the road

"We can be very proud of our results today," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said.  "Brent taking 15th is of course a very good performance for him and I am also very happy for how well Mathias finished considering the course."  The undulating parcours, the wind and the distance combined to make this one of the tougher starts to a one week race this year.  "Today was a really demanding course, but I enjoyed it and I feel like it suited me fairly well," Bookwalter said.  "I enjoyed the diversity of it.  As with any time trial, they hurt and you never quite know how well you went, especially with the strong wind gusts today."  In his second season back racing after a serious crash which derailed his 2007 and weakened his 2008 seasons, Bookwalter seems to be finding his best form again and keeps threatening to breakthrough with a big victory.  "I'm really happy for Brent who has been very impressive this season now that he is fully recovered from his crash," Lelangue said.

Proving they belong in the race

Along with Bookwalter's top 15, Alex Moos managed 23rd just 49 seconds back.  He was closely followed by team mates Mathias Frank, Jeff Louder and Ian McKissick, all of whom succeeded in not conceding too much time to the time trial specialists.  "All options are still open for making some good moves in the coming stages," Lelangue said.  "We will be looking to Markus Zberg for the next two stages, and though we'll have to stay vigilant and protect our time gaps now, we can look to the second time trial with confidence."  For the moment, the team will be keen to protect Bookwalter and his position on the GC.  "Since I haven't done that many races of this caliber, I want to take it day by day, while also keeping a watchful eye to the upcoming key stages," Bookwalter said.  "The profiles of the 2nd half of the race are serious, to say the least, but I think everyone on the team is excited to be here and race like we belong here."

Tricky stages precede assault on the Alps

Monday's stage to Dijon though not pancake flat, should provide reasonably predictable results and give the climbers a chance to blow out the legs before the serious climbing to come.  "The next two stages are not  totally flat, but they are certainly not the hardest, so we will work as a team to keep our leaders safe and our options open," Mathias Frank, who is one of the team's brightest hopes for this race and future stage races, said.  With half the Pro Tour teams already being out-performed by BMC, Lelangue expects Sunday's success to breed more confidence and strong results.  "We will have to be very vigilant in the next days, especially on Tuesday since the ride into Saint-Étienne can be very tricky," Lelangue said.  "We will focus on conserving for the time trial and then look to fight in the mountains which really are our terrain of choice."