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Finishes 3rd on the stage - Danilo Wyss (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Finishes 3rd on the stage - Danilo Wyss (Foto by Tim De Waele)

BMC’s Danilo Wyss spends the day in the breakaway, finishes 3rd on the stage

29. July 2008

Seraing

Faced with another hard day of riding the Belgian cobbles and côtes, BMC would have their work cut out for them.  The Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 scooted 201,9 km from Gouvy to Seraing, offering five categorized climbs along the way, and an uncategorized uphill sprint to the finish line.  

Danilo Wyss acted as the team’s ace in the hole for this stage protecting Steve Bovay’s King of the Mountains jersey by working his way into the day’s successful breakaway, eating up maximum KOM points and grabbing 3rd place in the final sprint.  Meanwhile, the team worked to keep Alex Moos in the best position with all the other favourites.

At last, a BMC break makes it to the line

Throughout the season, BMC has been gaining a lot of success and respect through its attacking racing style.  Many of the biggest prizes earned by the team have come through the riders’ knack for finding the strong breakaways.  However, only rarely have the breakaways made it all the way to the finish line.  “The day worked out very well for us,” John Lelangue reported.  “Danilo was in a break of 7 riders that made it all the way to the finish after being off the front for 190km.”  Having a rider in the break generally takes the heat off of the rest of the team, especially when the team is defending one of the classification jerseys.  “Danilo was able to snatch most of the maximum points on the stage for the KOM, which means that no rider close to Steve for the competition was able to gain enough points to take it over,” Lelangue explained.  “And then he was able to finish 3rd in the sprint for the stage, which is an excellent result for him.”    “The day started off very fast as there were a lot of attacks,” Danilo explained.  “Race leaders Silence-Lotto knew that they had to let a break go which had riders who posed no danger to the overall lead.”  Wyss’ group of seven had the right ingredients to give the break a chance for success.  At 20 km from the finish, the group knew they would make it to the finish and the attacks started.  “When we realized we were going to make it, the tension rose, and people started attacking,” Wyss described.  “In the last 2 km there was a climb with cobbles and a 23% gradient!  I was watching the Française de Jeux rider who seemed freshest and strongest, but when he attacked me I wasn’t able to hold his wheel.” 

Another example of BMC’s tight team work

“We are very happy for Danilo who road an excellent stage,” Lelangue concluded.  “It is very difficult to beat a quality racer like Meersman in a stage finish like this, but Danilo was working very hard for the team goals.”  “I am of course happy with my work today, but I do feel a little regret that I wasn’t able to come away with the victory,” Danilo confessed.  The work the team did for Alex Moos also assured him a spot among the top riders for the overall.  “I am very content with the way the day went,” Moos explained.  “After today I’m naturally a little tired, but the super team work with Danilo in the break and the rest of the guys watching out for me makes me very confident for the final stage.”  “The last stage of the Tour de Wallonie is always very special,” Lelangue continued.  “It is a difficult stage and will provide a significant selection; everyone will have to attack and we will fit our game plan to be always on the offensive, trying to create the good moves.”  Moos is among a large group of riders who have less than 1 minute to make up in order to take the overall.  With just a handful of seconds separating Moos and first place, the team will need finely tuned tactics in order to make the difference in the final stage.  “I will need to look closely at the parcours tonight with John to see just where we will need to act, but of course we will need to attack just like anyone else who wants to win the race,” Moos explained.  “I’ll have to keep my eye on all the guys closest on the GC.”  Moos can certainly rely on committed team work from his BMC team mates.  “Alex had really good legs at the finish of today’s stage,” Scott Nydam explained.  “We are riding well as a team and as long as we keep doing what we’re doing, I’m confident that we will be able to defend Steve’s jersey, and help Alex secure a high place on the GC.”