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BMC will be again rubbing shoulders with some of the best in Wallonie (foto Tim de Waele)
BMC will be again rubbing shoulders with some of the best in Wallonie (foto Tim de Waele)

BMC heads to Wallonie with podium ambitions

24. July 2009

Paris

In their first European stage race since the Dauphiné Libéré in June, BMC will arrive at the Tour de Wallonie with big ambitions for top results.  The five stage Hors Category race around the Wallone region of Belgium offers the right mix of tough hilly racing which will play to the strengths of the squad BMC plans to field. 

Though the course is extremely challenging, there are no obvious separators such as cobblestones, long climbs or a time trial to whittle down the number of potential winners.  Rather, smart tactics and aggressive racing will in the end rule the day.

Totally open race

"For an Hors Category stage race, it is totally open and very offensive," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue explained.  "There is no time trial, it is hilly but they are the sort of sharp small hills you find at Flèche and Liege, and there are no cobblestone sections to speak of, so the race becomes much more interesting from a strategic point of view."  Though there is no single stage which the riders can focus on as being where the main selection will be made, the profile for the first stage indicates that it will be game-on from kilometer zero.  "The first stage is almost certainly going to be the most difficult, so we will need to be present in every move and be prepared to be on the offensive from beginning to end," Lelangue explained. 

Everyone has a chance

"We will start with no protected riders since every one of our guys has a chance to go for a victory here," Lelangue revealed.  "We will have seven of our Swiss riders so we are bringing a very strong team and will take it day by day to see who comes up with the goods."  Bringing strong sprinters like Markus Zberg, Danilo Wyss and Martin Kohler and strong all-rounders like Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei, Alex Moos and Florian Stalder to the race, BMC can feel well represented for any situation.  "For the one or two stages that will probably end in sprints, we will look to Markus to do well there," Lelangue said.  "But for the rest of the stages I can definitely see guys like Mathias, Thomas and Alex making a solid bid for victory." 

"Realistically, we can go for the win"

Since each team will be fielding only seven riders, the five day stage race will be difficult for any one team to control.  "Last year we won the KOM with Steve Bovay, but I think this year we will focus more on winning stages and even the GC," Lelangue said.  "With only seven riders, we will always have to be attentive and on the right side of the field splits.  But our team is good at aggressive racing and I think we can realistically go for the win."  

BMC for the Tour de Wallonie:
Markus Zberg, Danilo Wyss, Martin Kohler, Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei, Alex Moos and Florian Stalder

Directeur Sportif:
John Lelangue