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Past Swiss national road champion Michael Schär had time to celebrate his win. (©Casey B. Gibson.)
Past Swiss national road champion Michael Schär had time to celebrate his win. (©Casey B. Gibson.)

Schär Holds On For Stage Win At Utah

6. August 2014

BMC Racing Team's Michael Schär soloed the final 60 kilometers out of the day's breakaway, survived a bout of leg cramps and held off a furious chase to score his first victory of the season Tuesday on Stage 2 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Has To Win From Breakaways
Schär saw a more than four-minute lead over the top of the last climb – 38 kilometers from the finish –  reduced to seconds inside the final kilometer of the 210.3-km race. "The finish line really could not come soon enough," Schär said. "I had a lot of cramps the whole downhill. But then, in the last five kilometers, it got better. I got some power again and I was on my threshold. But with 500 meters to go, I got a big cramp on my right side. I pushed through it and I didn't look back any more. I remembered never to look back – to never give them anything." Schär crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of Jure Kocjan (Team SmartStop Pro Cycling) who assumed the race lead. "I gave it all I had to the line," Schär said. "They say if you never try, you never win. I am not a sprinter. I am not a super good climber. I have to win my races from breakaways."

Most Aggressive Rider Honors
Schär's nearly 200 kilometers on the front of the race began with five others. One-by-one, they fell away as four categorized climbs were tackled, the last of which was where Schär shook free from Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team). "We really knew this was a day Michi could stay away if he got over the top of Boulder Mountain," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said. "In the grand scheme of things, we didn't necessarily want him to take the yellow jersey. But we wanted to be represented, go for the stage win and not miss out on a group that would affect the general classification." Schär – who earned most aggressive rider honors for his heroics – missed taking the race lead by two seconds. Four other BMC Racing team riders finished in the top 15 on the stage, including Cadel Evans, who is now fifth overall, 12 seconds off the lead.

Team Classification Leaders
Evans said he was especially happy to see Schär earn his second career victory. The 2013 Swiss national road champion helped Evans win the Tour de France in 2011. "It was a pretty hard day for everyone today. Of course for Michi, it was probably the hardest day of all," Evans said. "But even in the group, it was solid chasing behind. So it was interesting to see which teams had the strength and I think we softened a few legs up. We will see Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday how the guys rebound from their efforts." The BMC Racing Team kept its lead in the team classification with Evans placing sixth, Brent Bookwalter 10th, Ben Hermans 11th and Dylan Teuns 15th. Wednesday's stage is 190.3 km with only one categorized climb and finishes at the Miller Motorsports Park.

Listen to complete comments from Evans, Schär and Stewart on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos of the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch videos on the BMC Racing Team's YouTube channel.