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Steve Morabito is the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider overall. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Steve Morabito is the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider overall. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Tour de Romandie, Stage 4: Burghardt Still Best Climber

27. April 2013

Steve Morabito, in 24th place, was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher while teammate Marcus Burghardt kept his lead in the King of the Mountains classification in Saturday's rain-soaked stage of the Tour de Romandie.

Final Stage Time Trial
Race leader Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) and Simon Spilak (Katusha) broke away in the final kilometers, with Spilak winning the stage and Froome increasing his lead on the eve of the final-stage individual time trial. The threat of snow forced a change of the course – eliminating a more difficult climb – while shortening the race from 188.5 kilometers to 184.8. Morabito said he did his best to follow the leaders on the last climb, but was fatigued from riding in the cold, wet conditions. "In the middle of the climb, I couldn't follow them anymore," he said. "I was a little bit disappointed, because I wanted to stay in the front. The time trial tomorrow is not long (18.7 km) but it suits me better than some of the climbers. For sure, I will give everything until the end." Morabito is 19th overall, 3:00 off the lead of Froome.

Mountain Jersey Nearly Secured
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said although the mountains classification was originally not one of the team's objectives, it is turning out to be a highlight. "Today was a a good stage for Marcus with him keeping the mountain jersey," Ledanois said. "We are very happy for him." With no categorized climbs in the time trial, Burghardt needs only to finish Sunday's stage to win the classification. Brent Bookwalter was among more than 30 riders who withdrew from the race. The Tour of Qatar stage winner had difficulty breathing, BMC Racing Team Dr. Scott Major said. "Brent was suffering from a lot of head congestion and he had been rooming with Mathias Frank, who also went home sick this week," Dr. Major said.