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BMC happy with Belgian racing

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
March 11, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:21 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News, March 11, 2008

After Danilo Wyss' fifth place in the opening stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Team BMC...

After Danilo Wyss' fifth place in the opening stage of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Team BMC drew a positive conclusion on the three-day affair. Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said that "Today was very tough. It was raining all day. The rain began early in the morning and has not stopped yet."

From the 140 starters only about half saw the finishing banner on Sunday. BMC's Alexandre Moos was the only rider who finished the race for the American team. But even some of the ProTour French and Belgian teams would only finish with one or two guys – testimony on how tough the race was. "Alex did a great job," Lelangue reported. ""He was in a breakaway over the cobbled climbs. And though he was eventually caught, he managed to finish in the third group."

Taking such a young team to hard semi-Classic races can be a bit of a gamble. But the BMC management seemed pleased with the youngsters' progress. "I was pretty happy with the three days of racing, plus the Samyn race earlier this week," Lelangue said. "We placed well with Danilo [Wyss] on Stage 1, and the rest of the guys have been getting their feet wet, learning for the future." Jonathan Garcia echoed this when he talked about his Belgian experience, "It was really a crash course for me, and I'm sure that I've already become a better racer in these last three days." Jonathan continued, "It was tough mostly because I didn't know the roads and the wind patterns and the echelons on such narrow roads, but my experience riding on Colorado dirt roads helped with the cobbles," explaining that the washboard effect one gets on the dirt was pretty similar to the cobble riding.

Despite the wind and the rain, the team remained upbeat about its accomplishments. "We were happy to have Alex finish today," Lelangue said. BMC did not escape bad luck altogether. "Ian McKissick was a bit sick this morning with food poisoning or something, and that weakened him," Lelangue said. "And Jonathan [Garcia] crashed and had a hard time chasing back on through the cars and with the wind against him." Garcia added that "On the whole, I am pleased with how I road the cobbles, though it may not be my strength. I do my best when the racing is really hard, and days like today are only going to make me stronger."

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