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The final GC podium: winner Aaron Olson, third-place Scott Nydam (BMC) and second-place Andy Bajadali. Foto by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com
The final GC podium: winner Aaron Olson, third-place Scott Nydam (BMC) and second-place Andy Bajadali. Foto by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com

Ian McKissick wins Tour de Nez Time trial while Scott Nydam earns overall podium spot

22. June 2008

Interested in honing their form for the upcoming team priority events, five member of the BMC Racing Team joined in the hot competition at the Tour de Nez this past week.

Ian McKissick, Scott Nydam, Mike Sayers, Jackson Stewart and Taylor Tolleson worked together to keep each other safe and try their best to make some noise in the stages.  

Off to a bumpy start

The stage race opened with a challenging criterium around the Grand Sierra Resort Casino.  As the harder stages were looming a little later in the weekend of racing, the main goal for the first stage was to stay out of trouble and in the front of the pack.  Unfortunately for BMC’s up and coming sprinting power Talyor Tolleson, his evening would end with an inopportune broken collarbone.  “I was about 20 minutes into the criterium when the rider just ahead of me clipped one of the cone markers and crashed right in front of me,” Tolleson reported.  “He actually fell right into me, making me go down, and I broke my collarbone as a result.” There is seldom a “good” time to break a collarbone, but with the prime of BMC’s domestic racing calendar just beginning, the timing for this mishap couldn’t be worse.  “This will absolutely raise havoc with my schedule since I was going to do the Tour of Wallonie,” Tolleson mused. “And then of course I am building for the Tour of Utah, and I wanted to be in the best condition possible for that.”  Since for the moment Taylor plans to let the injury heal rather than rush it into surgery, he and his doctors are estimating that it will be four weeks before he can race again.  “I am looking into the surgery options with our team doctors, Eric Heiden and Max Testa, but for the moment we are just letting it heal,” Talyor explained.  “Right now my arm is in a sling, and I am not able to move it at all really. I will be off the bike at least a week; as of now it is difficult to predict just when I will be able to race.”

Stairway to paradise

The team moral hit the other end of the spectrum when in Stage 2 Ian McKissick devoured the competition and road himself into the race lead with a scorching ascent of the Northstar at Tahoe uphill time trial.  The climb steps up 629 ft in just under 3 miles (191 meters in 4.4 km).  Ian tackled the killer climb in 8 min 30 seconds at an average of 31 km/h.  “The tt went great since I put 16 seconds into the 2nd place guy, which is a lot of time considering how short the course was,” McKissick said.  “I didn’t really know the course, but a few of us went out on it before hand and I knew that it was a climb well suited for me, so I went into the stage thinking I could win and should win.”  This second day of racing was a split stage day, so in the evening the guys had to defend the jersey in another criterium.  Though the team had reduced numbers compared to some of the other competitor’s teams, further hampered by Taylor Tolleson’s absence, they were able to keep the race together enough in order to preserve Ian’s hand-full of seconds lead.  “The team did a great job of saving me from having to do too much work,” McKissick said.  The real acid test would come in Friday’s murderous road race.

Way out west, changing horses mid stream

The races around Tahoe offer very challenging undulating parcours at a very high altitude.  That and the heat would play a big role in the reversal of fortunes Ian McKissick would suffer.  “I had a terrible day Friday.  Something was wrong with my stomach before the race and the I went too hard too early and never really recovered,” he said.  “I was sick after the race and am not sure if it was the heat or the altitude, but I bonked harder than I have ever bonked before.”  With McKissick working to make the time cut, BMC turned to Scott Nydam who road strongly, finishing third on the day and jumping into second place overall.  “We felt for Ian since he was having such a hard time,” Nydam said.  Scott was just 4 seconds away from the lead at the start of the final stage Saturday.  “I finished the stage yesterday with a mind to helping Scott since I knew he was riding really strongly,” McKissick said.  “I just felt flogged after the road race, though.  It is a good thing that the final stage was held late in the day so that I had much of the day to recover a little.”  McKissick, recovering from his ordeal from the day before threw all his weight behind the team’s attempt at getting Nydam one step higher on the podium.  “One thing that this week has shown is how well we work together as a team,” Nydam recounted.  “Early in the week we were focused on helping Ian defend his lead, and once that stopped being an issue, Ian and everyone worked to keep me on the podium.”  A dangerous break containing Bissel’s Aaron Olsen did get up the road in the final criterium.  The Bissle rider had a 38 second deficit going into the stage, and finished with a 13 second advantage, bumping Scott Nydam down into 3rd place overall.  “To be honest, I didn’t feel super today; whatever I had in my tank, I basically used up yesterday,” Nydam revealed.  “So considering that, I am okay with the outcome.”