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Tour of California 2008: Jackson Stewart in the Orange Jersey.  Photo: Tim De Waele
Tour of California 2008: Jackson Stewart in the Orange Jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele

Jackson Stewart ready to build on Euro resume

9. gennaio 2009

Preparing to start his third season with the BMC Racing Team, Jackson Stewart knows that the team is in the middle of a big push to step up the racing level of the squad.  Happy to be a member of the team, Stewart also takes seriously the responsibility of being fit when the team needs him.

Using camp to tap off intensity

"I've had a very good off-season actually," Stewart revealed.  "BMC set me up with a mountain bike so I really enjoyed exploring a bit with that.  In addition to riding off road, I focused my gym-related strength training a lot more than I have in the past."  At the end of last season, Stewart was able to take a trip with his wife to visit his mother in Argentina.  "My mom lives in the middle of no where, so in October we were able to visit her and travel around Uruguay a little bit," Stewart said.  "I didn't take the bike so I was really able to relax for the new season."  Now deep into his training regime for the 2009 season, Jackson feels like he is well on his way to gaining the fitness he'll need for his first race of the season which will be the Tour of Qatar.  "I have a good base already in place, and now plan on using camp to tap off the intensity and get up to the racing speeds again," Stewart explained.  "I have also been using the time to get my position dialled in."  Stewart had been suffering from some discomfort in his position during the 2008 season.  For 2009 he will be riding the most recently released BMC, the Racemaster SLX.  "I have been spending a lot of time setting it up just right, since I had so much trouble with my hip last year," Stewart said.  "But I have been working with a specialist, doing targeted exercises so we have definitely fixed some stuff."  Stewart is obviously very happy with his new ride.  "I really like the Racemaster since it seems to cater to my characteristics," Stewart said.  "Last year I thought the ProMachine was perfect already, but the Racemaster is even stiffer and very responsive."  

Targeting Qatar, Euro races       

Similarly to last year, Jackson will be starting off his season on the wind-swept roads of Qatar.  The first order of business for the team will be to improve on their team time trial performance from 2008.  "I really like team time trials, especially since we have found success with them before," said Stewart, who was a member of the TTT winning BMC team at the Giro del Friuli in 2007.  "Last year we were a little disappointed with our result in the Qatar TTT, but this year we will know the course around the Doha Corniche and we are taking some big engines, so we are pretty confident."  With such an experienced group of riders for team mates such as Alex Moos and Markus Zberg, Stewart says that he doesn't feel like a team leader, though he is always ready to give his input.  Nevertheless, this past year of racing in Europe has increased his confidence and whetted his appetite for more Euro racing.  "I have been on this team for three years now, so I will be happy to help any of the younger guys if they need it," Stewart said.  "But I am most excited about going back to Europe to race, and I hope that I can have a chance to ride at least a few of the events I did over there last year, and use some of the experience I gained."    Stewart expects the friendly competition which will naturally result from the stronger group of racers vying for spots in each event will help keep each member on his toes.  "Everyone is so good on the team now and I like everyone so much that I don't want to take anyone's spot on a roster, and then not be able to deliver the goods," Stewart explained.  "But it is exciting to use what you have learned and I hope that I can get the chance to do my best in races like Romandie and Criterium International, and the other tough Euro races we hope to do again this year."