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Markus Zberg: "Everyone on our team has what it takes to win." (Foto by AbbiOrca.com)
Markus Zberg: "Everyone on our team has what it takes to win." (Foto by AbbiOrca.com)

Eight BMC riders fighting for Swiss Title

23. giugno 2009

Santa Rosa / Nyon

When talking about possible victors of the Swiss Championships at Nyon, the riders of the BMC Racing Team invariably come to mind. All eight Swiss riders from the Swiss-American team have been registered for the road race this coming Sunday. The trio of Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei and Martin Kohler will also be participating at Wednesday’s time trial.

The team’s first Championship jersey was in some ways inherited.  Transferring to the BMC Racing team at the end of 2008, Markus Zberg introduced the Swiss national colours into the team which is dressed for the most part in black and white. For the first half of the season Zberg, who comes from the Swiss region of Urnerland, rode in the Swiss Championship jersey with its prominent white cross. This coming Sunday will see him compete in the standard BMC kit for the first time and possible the last time this year.  Markus Zberg is considered one of the big favorites for the win. “I am certainly going to put the pedal down if the right opportunity presents itself," Zberg declares.  He is especially keen since he has yet to get a victory under his belt this season. Recent results prove he is certainly on good form which was evident at the Dauphiné Libéré in June.  Zberg was one of the race’s main protagonists for three of the stages, narrowly missing the victory in the race's second stage. During the ride into Dijon he succeeded in out-sprinting none other than Tom Boonen, though Italian racer Angelo Furlan pipped him at the line.
 
Another victory at the Swiss National Championships would see Zberg join the select group of riders who can claim to have won the title three times. In 1985 Godi Schmutz was the last Swiss rider to complete the hat-trick.  Despite all his ambitions, Zberg is by no means personally fixated on the title. "The important thing is to present ourselves and ride as one team," he believes.  Zberg adds that he would be very happy for a younger team member to win this time around.  One such candidate could be Mathias Frank, this season's outstanding stage race newcomer.  Another potential winner could be the sprinter Danilo Wyss who was able to leave his mark on the Tour de Beauce only last week. "Everyone on our team has what it takes to win," Zberg is convinced.  In 2002 Alexandre Moos, today’s senior team member, successfully lead the charge for the Swiss Championship which provides further evidence of the team's potentials.

The challenge on this relatively undemanding course around Lake Geneva will be to control the race over a distance of 180km and avoid a mass sprint at the finish. BMC features riders of very diverse talent. "The team's depth of talent," Zberg claims, "allows us to be prepared for all eventualities."

All up for grabs at the time trial

On Wednesday Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei and Martin Kohler will have the first opportunity to win a place on the podium. They will be at the start of the 36.2 km long individual time trial. With Fabian Cancellara taking a well deserved break to recover after his victory at the Tour de Suisse, the race for his successor as time trial champion is wide open and BMC’s Directeur Sportif, John Lelangue has every confidence in his riders: "They are extremely motivated and without Cancellara at the race this year, the door stands wide open for our team."

Swiss national Championships at Nyon

Wednesday, individual time trial: Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei, Martin Kohler.

Sunday, road race: Markus Zberg, Steve Bovay, Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei, Martin Kohler, Alexandre Moos, Florian Stalder, Danilo Wyss.