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Danilo Wyss finishes the Stage 4 off with a 3rd place. Photo: Tim De Waele
Danilo Wyss finishes the Stage 4 off with a 3rd place. Photo: Tim De Waele

BMC shows its class in a day of attacking; Danilo Wyss finishes it off with a 3rd place podium

12. settembre 2008


Though many pundits may have been expecting a yawner of a day, just glancing at Stage 4’s race profile would have given a hint of what fireworks could be possible.  Doing their best to use the war between Garmin and Columbia to BMC’s advantage, the riders from BMC made certain to be present in every break, essentially animating the race right out of the starting blocks.

Jeff Louder, Tony Cruz and Danilo Wyss fought hard in the day’s main break with Danilo coming away with another podium finish thanks to his sprinting prowess.  

Bike racing at its most enjoyable

“It has been a long time since I have so much enjoyed a bike race,” Directeur Sportif John Lelangue beamed.  “We were always aggressive, always in every move; after the race I told the guys just how much fun it was to watch from the team car today!”  With three KOM prizes and two sprint bonuses, there was a lot of road-booty available throughout the stage, not including the fact that Garmin’s Vande Velde’s race lead was only 21 seconds at the start of the day.  “Last night I told the guys that this will be a good stage to attack,” Lelangue explained.  “Garmin and Columiba will be marking each other, and we should make use of that rivalry.”  The guys from BMC took Lelangue’s pep-talk to heart.  “I am really happy with the way the team rode today,” Jeff Louder said.  “The guys were just on it all day and fully represented in every break.”  With three riders in the decisive 18 man breakaway, BMC was only one of two teams with more than two riders in the escape party.  “We had three guys in the break which is just representative of how aggressively everyone on the team rode all day,” Louder explained.  Near the end of the stage, Louder and Columbia rider Michael Barry slipped away from the group.  Jeff committed himself to gaining time on the GC, but rode too hard too early to stay with Barry when he put in a final attack with 10km to go.  With Jeff’s escape coming back, BMC still had Tony Cruz and Danilo Wyss to come through with the result.  Wyss pulled off another top sprint for the team and sits high up in the overall classification now.  “Today was so fast, in the first hour we averaged 52km/h!” Wyss exclaimed.  “When Barry attacked and we then later reabsorbed Jeff, the fight for second place on the stage was launched.”

BMC keeps proving that they are a team that comes to race

“It was a hard fast day, and like John told us last night, the harder the better for us,” Louder said.  Looking to build on each success, John Lelangue keenly points out their Missouri accomplishments to date.  “We are still in the top 10 overall with Jeff, we are 2nd on the Team Classification, Danilo finished 2nd in the day’s sprint and 3rd for the day and he is currently in 2nd place on the Best Young Rider Classification,” Lelangue said.  The only sour point on the stage for the team happened when both Brent Bookwalter and Martin Kohler crashed.  Though they were able to rejoin the race, Kohler suffered severe cuts to his elbow and will probably require stitches.   Though there are only three more stages to go for the tour, no one will be backing down.  “We’re not finished yet and will continue to fight for the next stages,” Lelangue confirmed.  “The next two days particularly are good days to be on the offensive.” Louder agreed, though after his ride in Stage 4, he’s not certain just how much more he has in the tank.  “I rode about as hard today as I did for Nationals, and I can tell you the day after Nationals I was pretty wasted,” Louder confessed.  “But my parents are coming to see the stage tomorrow, as is one of my best friends from St. Louis and my uncle, so I will definitely be motivated to race hard in front of them; beside come Monday I am on vacation, so I plan to leave everything on the rode this week.”  With the decisive break today gaining 17 minutes on the rest of the peloton, the GC classification has once again been narrowed to whoever was in that break.  The fact that BMC had three riders in the break puts them in a good situation for the coming stages.