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Toyota-United and BMC satisfied, too

By:
Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Braselton, Georgia
Published:
April 25, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:18 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News, April 25, 2008
Toyota United crests the last hill.

Toyota United crests the last hill.

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American team Toyota-United, as well as Continental Pro team BMC are satisfied with the outcome of...

American team Toyota-United, as well as Continental Pro team BMC are satisfied with the outcome of their team time trials on stage four of the Tour de Georgia. While Toyota-United achieved fifth place and best domestic performance, BMC finished a respectable sixth.

"I'm really proud of the way the team is riding this Tour," said Toyota-United team owner Sean Tucker. "To only be beat by arguably three of the top four teams in the world and by a mere 23 seconds is a true testament to how determined and strong our team is."

Team Director Len Pettyjohn mused that his riders could have achieved an even better placing, had it not been for bad luck. "We were the only team today to run negative splits on all four laps with our last lap being the fastest. Had Ben Day not crashed [in stage three] and hurt his back, I think we would have claimed third place ahead of Team CSC since they were only 10 seconds faster than us. But then again, that's bike racing," he added.

American team BMC finished 55 seconds behind the day's winning team Slipstream. "Overall, I am really very pleased with how the guys rode," team manager Gavin Chilcott said after all the teams had completed their rides.

"The laps unfolded as planned, and though we may have been able to go 10 seconds faster due to little 1-2 second mistakes here and there, there were no technical mistakes and everyone was riding strongly. We had consistent lap times and the rotation worked well. At one point near the end of the race, Danilo had just made his final pull, but realized a gap was forming and quickly closed it down. That easily saved us 10 seconds, so I was very happy to see his heads-up attentiveness come into play yet again."

Sports director John Lelangue agreed with the positive assessment. "The guys rode amazingly well," Lelangue enthused. "They reacted well to each situation, and when you see the teams that finished in front of us are all specialists at time trial situations, we can feel very confident with our performance."

The plan for the team at the outset revolved around protecting the GC chances of its two leaders, Scott Nydam and Darren Lill. "Scott, Darren, Taylor and John were our four finishers," Chilcott confirmed. "So we are very pleased to have protected our GC guys while also putting in a very respectable performance."

Looking ahead to the next two days of racing, BMC's strategy is to protect its GC contenders Nydam and Lill. "[Stage five] has three significant climbs, so we will definitely have to keep Darren and Scott in a good position," Chilcott continued. "It will not be a stage that will really eat up the field, but more a day of conserving our resources and managing our costs to keep ourselves competitive for the Brasstown Bald climb Saturday."

Darren Lill agreed with this view. "The guys are feeling strong, and though I have never done Brasstown before," he said, "I certainly have every hope that I will enjoy it and be able to make use of my strengths on the climb."

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