Giro del Fruili Venezia Giulia: first all-American TTT victory!

American Continental team BMC Racing made history by becoming the first All-American team to win a E

American Continental team BMC Racing made history by becoming the first All-American team to win a E
PIC: BMC Racing (Courtesy) Italian stallions Felice Gimondi (1963), Claudio Chiappucci (1984), Gilberto Simoni (1991, 93) and Danilo Diluca (1998) have all made history by winning the elite under-23 Cycling Tour of the Fruili Venezia Giulia Region (Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia), but history was made Thursday in a replay somewhat reminiscent of the 1986 7-Eleven Tour de France cycling team as American continental road team BMC won the team time trial in Italy. The young and talented squad won its first European stage during its first (and only 2007 European) race. BMC was the first all-American squad to win a team time trial in Europe. First-year pro Jonathan Garcia (BMC) leads the general classification, with teammate Scott Nydam in second place overall. Garcia and Nydam were part of a 20-man breakaway during stage 1 that finished 60 seconds ahead of the field. BMC's team time trial victory also put them first on the team classification. The team time trial was the second stage held Tuesday; an early two-hour stage ended in a field sprint with no major changes on general classification. BMC posted an average speed of over 51km/h to claim a five-second victory over Italian amateur squad A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi. The five-man BMC team of Ken Hanson, Jonathan Garcia, Jan McKissick, Scott Nydam and Jackson Stewart posted a winning time of 28 minutes 16 seconds despite losing Hanson before the finish line. The final three teams to roll out, A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi, Finauto Neri Lucchini and Radenska Powerbar, experienced multiple punctures, apparently caused by deliberately scattered sharp objects across the road. "We are very disappointed," A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi team manager Stefano Tamberi said afterward. "Cycling wants to change, but with criminals like these it's impossible. I'm sorry for the organisers, because the race is wonderful and we always participate with pleasure." BMC management thrilled "I spoke to Gavin Chilcott right after the race and he told me that our boys rode a near-flawless race," said BMC team manager Charlie Livermore. "We didn't know what to expect, given that this was our first ever TTT, so you can well imagine how pleased we are. It's especially rewarding given that we have four neo-pros in the race. It's a significant result for the BMC team and for USA Cycling." Of the five Americans riding in Italy, four - Garcia, Nydam, Ian McKissick and Ken Hanson - are first-year pros. Only Jackson Stewart has raced as a professional prior to this season, and only Stewart had experienced European racing prior to the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia. "Things are coming together for us really fast," Livermore said. "We've got some guys with big engines, and they're learning how to use them. Not every American that goes to Europe races well there, but these guys are thriving with this kind of racing. "We don't know the climbs as well as these Italians and other Europeans," Livermore said. "And we have some young guys that haven't even raced bikes that long. But if we can come out of the race with a spot on the overall podium and the TTT win, we'll be happy. It's going to be hard to hold on, anything can happen. It's going to be an attack-fest." Gavin Chilcott and former Phonak team director John Lelangue are directing the BMC squad. Lelangue is connected to the team through Swiss team sponsor Andy Rihs, owner of BMC Bicycles and Phonak Hearing Systems. Livermore said the performance was exactly what the team needed as it hopes to upgrade to continental professional in 2008. Asked about Lelangue's future with the team, Livermore said at this point the team was just testing the waters in Europe, but with the move to continental pro next year, the team would likely need a European director, and Lelangue would be a perfect candidate. "We'll be expanding the staff, so we may bring John on to be the main DS," Livermore said. "John picked the winner of the first stage, a Slovenian rider, and Gavin gives him a lot of credit for strategizing for the team time trial. "McKissick, who was the elite national TT champ last year, was going so hard in front that John told him instead of riding the TT position, sit up on the hoods so the other guys can get a draft. It was good coaching, a good way to get the best out of all five guys. It's pretty amazing, considering they had never even practiced the team time trial until they got to Italy." The race ends after a pair of climbing stages on Saturday and Sunday. Livermore said the team realizes it will be difficult to control the race, which has 37 teams sporting five-man rosters. Livermore said McKissick, who was seen catapulting over his bike and sliding across a sidewalk at the final of stage 2 of the Tour de Georgia, was probably the team's best hope to land on the overall podium. A member of the 13-man breakaway that gained 30 minutes over the Tour de Georgia peloton, Nydam finished sixth overall in Georgia. 2007 Giro del Fruili Venezia Giulia Stage 2b: Aquileia - Grado (TTT) 24.2km Stage 2b results 1 BMC Professional Cycling Team 28.16 (51.367 km/h) 2 A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi 00:00:05 3 U.S. F. Coppi Gazzera Videa 00:00:06 4 G.S. Podenzano 00:00:18 5 U.C. Trevigiani 00:00:23 6 Agi Finauto Neri Lucchini 00:00:29 7 Kazakhstan National Team 00:00:38 8 Sava Kranj 00:00:42 9 G.S. Zalf Desire Fior 00:00:43 10 Filmop Sorelle Ramonda 00:00:44 General classification 1 Jonathan Garcia (USA, BMC Professional Cycling Team) 5.29.24 2 Scott Nydam (USA, BMC Professional Cycling Team) 3 Andriy Pryshchepavkri (Ukr, A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi) 00:00:05 4 Alexander Filippov (Rus, A.C.S. Gruppo Lupi) 5 Carlo Rebellin (Ita, U.C. Trevigiani) 00:00:23 6 Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita, Agi Finauto Neri Lucchini) 00:00:29 7 Emanuele Vona (Ita, Agi Finauto Neri Lucchini) 8 Grega Bole (Slo, Sava Kranj) 00:00:42 9 Marco Bandiera (Ita, G.S. Zalf Desire Fior) 00:00:43 10 Davide Malacarne (Ita, G.S. Zalf Desire Fior)

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