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Mathias Frank is the first Swiss rider to lead the race since 2011. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Mathias Frank is the first Swiss rider to lead the race since 2011. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

BMC Racing Team's Mathias Frank Leads Tour de Suisse

10. June 2013

Mathias Frank of the BMC Racing Team first escaped serious injury in a crash, then later bombed the descent off the final climb with a small group on rain-slickened roads to take the overall lead Monday after Stage 3 at the Tour de Suisse.

Leads By 23 Seconds
Frank finished fourth in a four-up sprint that was won by Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling). But previous race leader Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) could not keep pace on the final climb and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), who had been second overall, crashed out of the race with about 50 kilometers to go in the 204.9-km race. Frank said familiarity with the downhill run-in to the finish helped, but assistance from teammates going up the climb was even more valuable. "The whole team did a great job placing Tejay van Garderen and me at the bottom," he said. "Then Tejay set the perfect pace. I was talking to him and he said he would set a good, hard tempo. It was just perfect how we did it. Tejay is riding really strongly. To have a guy like him as a teammate is all you can ask for." Frank now leads Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) by 23 seconds and Rui Costa (Movistar) by 35 seconds with six stages to go. Both were part of the four-man move that finished 39 seconds ahead of a shattered peloton. Van Garderen is 10th overall, 1:39 behind.

Whole Team Made It Happen
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said having world road champion Philippe Gilbert in an 18-man breakaway allowed the team's remaining riders to stay quiet around Frank and van Garderen until the right moment. "At the briefing this morning, we decided to go for it after the first passage through the finish line," he said. "There was a fourth category climb with a critical downhill so we wanted to be in the front before the last climb. That was a great job by the whole team to make it happen." Frank said four previous Tours de Suisse have taught him not to underestimate the importance of every stage. "One moment of not being attentive can be fatal for you," he said. "But I have a great team around me and I'm really confident in the job they can do and that they can keep me out of trouble." Lelangue said the BMC Racing Team will take a one-day-at-a-time approach to defending the lead. "Every day will be difficult," he said. "We know there will be some easy days. But in a stage race, you have to be concentrating every day. The good thing is, we have a good team around Mathias and around Tejay for supporting the yellow jersey. We have seen they are all riding on a high level."
Listen to complete comments from Frank (English and German) and Lelangue on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.