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BMC Racing Team world road champion Philippe Gilbert (second from right) sprinted to a third-place finish Saturday. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
BMC Racing Team world road champion Philippe Gilbert (second from right) sprinted to a third-place finish Saturday. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de Suisse, Stage 8: Gilbert Third; Frank Still Leads

15. June 2013

Tour de Suisse race leader Mathias Frank of the BMC Racing Team played lead-out man for teammate Philippe Gilbert Saturday, helping the reigning world road champion to a third-place finish on the race's penultimate day.

Team Helped Keep The Jersey
Frank said he enjoyed helping Gilbert, who finished behind double stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and runner-up Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) in the 180.5-kilometer race. "I tried to lead him out as well as I could," Frank said. "It was a good result for us and a good day that I could keep my jersey without big problems, thanks to the whole team. So it's normal I want to give something back." Gilbert, who has a pair of runner-ups and four third-place finishes to his credit this season, said he received help in the final kilometers first from teammate Tejay van Garderen and then from Frank. "When you see the yellow jersey working for you, it is always something special," Gilbert said. "They gave me nice positioning for the sprint. But Sagan and Bennati are really quick. I was third behind a really fast guy – one of the fastest of the whole bunch – so it's not a shame."

Confident For The Time Trial
Heading into Sunday's uphill, 26.8-km individual time trial, Frank holds a 13-second lead over Rui Costa (Movistar Team) and a 23-second advantage over Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). Van Garderen, who won a similar time trial at the Amgen Tour of California, is sixth, 1:17 off the lead. "It's going to be a difficult task, but it's playing all in my favor," Frank said. "I'm confident I made good progress this year in time trialing. I did a lot of work on the BMC timemachine TM01, testing my position in the wind tunnel. So I am confident that I can do a good time trial. It is also kind of special with the long climb at the end of the end. It plays into my cards as a climber." Frank has held the race lead since Monday's third stage, when he escaped on a rain-slickened descent with Costa, Kreuziger and Sagan.

Listen to complete comments from Frank (English and German) and Gilbert on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.