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Faster than all the others - BMC's Jeff Louder (Foto by Tim De Waele)
Faster than all the others - BMC's Jeff Louder (Foto by Tim De Waele)

Jeff Louder wins overall at Tour of Utah, BMC wins Team Classification

17. August 2008

Tooele

The BMC racing team went into Sunday’s final individual time trial feeling as though they were already in a win-win situation.  BMC had practically locked up the team classification when three of their riders finished in the top 10 on the climb to the Snowbird Ski Resort, and they could point to a stage win and a second place in the two hardest climbing stages. 

But perhaps most importantly, each member of the team was having an incredibly fun time, building on the strong team spirit which has defined this 2008 BMC squad.  Any further accomplishments in Utah would only enhance an already successful race.

On the flat, fast course, Louder brings home the overall victory

“The course was really fast and a touch windy.  There wasn’t much time for thinking, I just knew I had to go for broke,” Louder explained.  “This has been such a team effort from the staff and management down to the riders, that I just wanted to do what I could to repay everyone for all the hard work that they put in.”  The time trial course used the Miller Motorsports Park in Toole as the final testing ground for who would walk away victorious from the Tour of Utah.  It is perhaps ironic that the stage race that can legitimately boast the toughest climbing in North America was decided in 12 flat miles.  Bissell’s time trial specialist Tom Zirbel not surprisingly came away with the stage victory, though BMC’s Brent Bookwalter and Jeff Louder followed closely behind in 2nd and 3rd.  “Reporters were asking me more about Brent, and I couldn’t say enough good things about him until I realized he beat me today!” Louder joked.  “Actually Brent is so impressive, and has come so far since breaking his leg last year; if this Tour had lasted a few more days, it very well could have been Brent taking the overall.”  Darren Lill, BMC’s other GC candidate for the week, had a bit of bad luck in the time trial, puncturing halfway through.  “I definitely lost some time today since I punctured and ended up riding the last half of the course on a flat tire,” Lill said.  “But the course really was suited to larger riders, and both Brent and Jeff still rode well enough to move up on the GC; it’s a great day for the team.” 

BMC growing as a team, Louder growing as a leader

In 2006 Jeff Louder finished 3rd overall at the Tour of Utah.  In 2007 he finished 7th at the Tour of Georgia and won the mountains classification at the Tour of Missouri.  “I’ve been knocking on the door for a big victory for a while now, but I just didn’t know when it would happen,” Louder said. “It is a dream come true personally for me to win my home tour, but in the larger picture what we’re seeing is a real evolution of this team and a culmination of all the hard work and dedication.”  BMC can also be proud to have beaten a very strong Garmin-Chipotle team.  “Garmin worked very hard and rode a great race all week,” Louder said.  “They had to defend from stage 1; Caldwell is a very complete rider so I’m sure we will be having more trouble with him in the future!”  Having his wife, Soorya, daughter Milana and a whole slew of friends and family present to watch his win, Louder was not shy to point to his home court advantage as a helpful factor.  “Having my little girl with me on the podium after stage 4 was very special for me – even if it didn’t really mean much to her!” Louder said.  “But I really have to thank my wife for her support and the support that all my friends and family being here gave me.  I was really able to work off their energy too.” 

Motivated by people who are motivated

By devoting a lot of the team resources to the Utah training camp, BMC seized the opportunity not only to gain experience for the race, but foster strong team bonds which will pay dividends in races to come.  “I am motivated by people who are motivated,” Louder explained.  “I am so happy on BMC and we are all just trying to repay the trust and confidence the staff and management pour into the team.” “We added Jeff to the team because we knew he would work well in the program and in Utah he has really transcended thinking about how to race and instead he just races,” Chilcott beamed.  “We invested smartly in the race and that left Jeff with the tools to execute the plans, which he did extremely well.”  “I really have to thank Gavin for the confidence he has instilled in me from the beginning of the year,” Louder said.  “He puts 100% of himself into this team, we have the best equipment, materials, staff, and add the confidence and trust Gavin has placed in me, and I am very motivated to capitalize on his vision.”    “I think I am echoing everyone’s feeling when I say that the riders and staff are really working well as a team,” Chilcott concluded.  “We’re putting it all together and things are really starting to click.”