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Jackson Stewart at his victory at the Cherry Pie Criterium in Napa. (Photo by Mark Adkinson)
Jackson Stewart at his victory at the Cherry Pie Criterium in Napa. (Photo by Mark Adkinson)

Interview with Jackson Stewart

15. February 2008

14 February, 2008

Race win over the weekend foretells good things for Tour of California

On Februray 10, Jackson Stewart of the BMC Racing Team won the Cherry Pie Criterium in Napa, California, against an elite group of racers.  Though he had had doubts about his form after the rigours of the Tour of Qatar, Jackson surprised even himself with his strong showing.  His coach, Charlie Livermore said, “I told him to get in the race and give it a shot.  If he felt bad, I told him to drop out; if he felt good, I told him to win.  Well, he must have felt pretty good.”  We spoke with Jackson to find out the details.

Charlie Livermore said you were having misgivings about racing.  Describe the problems you were having leading up to the race.

Jackson Stewart: After getting home from Qatar, I was having problems with my training.  The racing there was very intense and I had crashed in Qatar.  I think the long flight home was the nail in the coffin as far as how resilient my body felt.  And the week leading up to the Cherry Pie Crit I had been getting massages and seeing the chiropractor, but I was still frustrated with how my body was reacting.

How did the race unfold?

JS: I didn’t feel 100%, but I felt alright.  One of the guys from Charlie’s Endurance Training facility was at the race and helped me adjust my seating position.  I think that helped me mentally know that nothing really was wrong, and my body was just a bit tired.  Alex Moss and Mike Sayers were both racing with me and we were basically just covering breaks.  I think Alex went first and then Mike, but both their breaks were pulled back.  It just happened that it was my turn to follow a break and that was the one that stayed away.  Luckily I was racing with Alex and Mike since they are both big experienced guys and they were able to help control the race behind our break.

How does this make you feel for California?

JS: Even though it was only a local race, there were a lot of guys racing it that will also be at California too, so it is a good confidence booster.  Any win is always a bonus.

What are the team’s goals for California?

JS: Well, we haven’t discussed tactics in any great detail yet, but I’m sure we will race opportunistically.  Moos is definitely a guy we can shoot for getting high on the GC, and Darren Lill has a lot of potential in that vein too.  (Jeff) Louder and (Scott) Nydam are always threats, even if Scott has recently felt as beat up as I do.  And the rest of the guys like Taylor Tolleson, Tony Cruz, Danilo Wyss and myself will hopefully be strong in the flatter finishes.  The circuit finishes don’t really give the US racers an advantage, but they do generally ensure that breakaways will have a hard time staying away until the finish.  But we’ll always be in the action of the race.  Success in the classifications will fall into place when we do that well.