After two very high-stress days for the peloton, today’s sixth stage 109 mile (175km) run from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita came as a welcome relief. “Today’s stage was defined by a breakaway that all major players in the field, including BMC, were comfortable with,” Gavin Chilcott reported after the stage.
With no major general classification candidates, nor any riders too close to Scott Nydam’s King of the Mountain’s jersey, the composition of the breakaway allowed BMC to relax a bit for the day and conserve resources for the final push into Pasadena tomorrow.
The team is the star
With just one stage to go, BMC can feel confident in its overall results, even if they have not completely escaped unscathed. “The breakaway today was good for us because no one was a danger for our ambitions,” John Lelangue said from the team car. “Scott feels well, Moos is in a good position, though we unfortunately lost Tony Cruz and Darren Lill today to sickness.” With Cruz and Lill falling victims to the illnesses so prevalent in this year’s TOC, Danilo Wyss, BMC’s promising young sprinter will have to fend for himself on the final stage. “We will continue to work for our ongoing goals,” Chilcott explained. To expand on this point, Lelangue said, “Alex is in a very good position and is feeling well. Scott was strong all day and was able to gain early King of the Mountain points.” His efforts have all but secured the jersey. “The team secured this jersey, really. If you add up all the points that team mates of mine have taken for the jersey, it is probably more than what I earned” Nydam humbly countered when asked how it feels to be in his current position. “It feels amazing. Getting through today, which was the hardest day for me yet, was a bit of a relief.”
Light at the end of the tunnel
With the team’s position in the KOM race fairly certain, the remaining racers from BMC will focus their efforts on helping Alex Moos keep his high ranking, “We can now concentrate on Moos,” Chilcott said. “Some riders are still feeling the effects of the extreme weather we had on Thursday; everyone was relieved that today was much more pleasant.” But with only one stage to go, Chilcott found himself breathing a small sigh of relief. “We knew we had prepared well, and we knew we had a good game plan with the right riders to carry it through,” Chilcott revealed. “But it is still nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that things have gone to plan for a majority of the race.” When asked what he planned on doing to help his recovery for tomorrow’s final stage, Nydam said, “Oh, the usual: eat the right food, get enough sleep. You know, like babies.”
Photo by Stephanie Gutowski