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12th in the GC after stage 6: BMC's Scott Nydam (Foto by Mark Adkinson)
12th in the GC after stage 6: BMC's Scott Nydam (Foto by Mark Adkinson)

BMC performs well on decisive climb

26. April 2008

Brasstown Bald/Towns County

There was never any question in people’s minds that Brasstown Bald would prove to be the deciding stage of the 2008 Tour de Georgia.  In spite of it being a relatively short stage at 142 km, the winner of the Tour de Georgia would almost certainly be known at the summit of Brasstown. 

While a tactical bobble seems to have cost the favourite teams the overall victory, BMC’s climbers Scott Nydam and Darren Lill put in a very respectable performance on the stage finishing strongly with the second group of racers who came in behind the top three racers.

Classification shake-up

“The team rode a respectable race,” Gavin Chilcott said directly after the stage.  “Though we weren’t climbing with the absolute top leaders, Scott and Darren certainly should move up the classification tonight.”  And since John Garcia rode strongly all day and hit the base of the final climb in the main group too, BMC should find a high ranking on the team classification as well.  “On the final climb, a front group of about 9 floated away,” Scott Nydam reported.  “John Garcia had been with us until that point, and then Darren and I were on the front of the main chase group.”  “My job for the day was to help Scott and Darren,” John Garcia interjected.  “We made sure to keep them well watered and fed, and move them into position for the climbs.  I would have liked to stay with them a touch longer on the final climb, but that didn’t quite pan out.”  Early in the stage, the team did try with some success to move into the breakaways, but the main break of the day got away without a BMC member.  “Sayers, Stewart, Tolleson and I were covering breaks,” Garcia recounted, “but every team here is trying to get into the breaks, and it isn’t always easy to make the right ones.”

Two climbs to soften up peloton before the base of Brasstown  

The stage presented the riders with a Category 1 and a Category 2 climb to get over before hitting the main course of the day.  “The first climb separated the group and then on the second climb it dwindled even more,” Scott said.  “On the descent of the first climb Botero and Rubiera were attacking, so it was pretty strung out the whole day.”  The remnants of the day’s main breakaway were not completely absorbed until the initial gradients of the final climb.  “Things started breaking up at the base of the Brasstown climb where it gets very steep and the road narrows,” Chilcott described.  “Our GC guys were in the mix, but Darren was suffering some sort of stomach cramps and I think that took his edge off a bit.”  Though the climb is pretty short by most standards, it is so steep and unrelenting that there is no way to soft peddle if you’re not on top form.  “The base of Brasstown really kicks up,” Nydam explained.  “We didn’t stay with the leaders, but I think we probably finished around 12th.”

One more day to face

“We’ll have to see how the guys recover before making our plans for tomorrow,” Chilcott explained.  “If the guys still feel strong, we’d definitely like to make some noise in the stage.”  John Garcia believes in the team’s chances to shape the race around Atlanta.  “The stage will almost certainly end with the bunch at the line together,” he predicted.  “But there is nothing wrong with getting in the break to show off BMC, and who knows, maybe something will work out to disappoint the sprinters.”  With the hardest part of the week in the bag, the riders can now relax a bit and work to end the race on a high note.