Frank believes he can seal Tour de Suisse win today
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Frank believes he can seal Tour de Suisse win today

by Shane Stokes at 6:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Suisse
 
Swiss rider determined to hold onto yellow in final time trial

Mathias FrankAlthough he wasn’t one of the main favourites heading into the race, Mathias Frank has said that he is feeling increasingly good about his chances of taking the final Tour de Suisse victory after leading for much of the event.

The BMC Racing Team rider successfully defended his leader’s jersey yesterday and holds a thirteen second lead over last year’s Tour de Suisse champion Rui Costa (Movistar) heading into the final day time trial.

Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo Tinkoff) is third in the general standings.

“It's going to be a difficult task, but it's playing all in my favour,” said Frank, assessing his chances. “I'm confident I made good progress this year in time trialing. I did a lot of work on the bike, testing my position in the wind tunnel. So I am confident that I can do a good time trial.”

He said that the nature of the course also boosts his prospects somewhat. “It is also kind of special with the long climb at the end of the end. It plays into my cards as a climber.”

Frank came into the race as a rider who was expected by some to back Tejay van Garderen, the Tour of California winner who was hoping to perform well. However it was the Swiss rider who fared better, netting second on stage two to Crans-Montana and then taking over the leader’s jersey last Monday when he clipped away with Costa, Kreuziger and stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) towards the end.

Since then his BMC Racing Team has protected him and helped him to stay in control. As a result of that, he said that he was keen to contribute in the finale of yesterday’s stage.

“I could keep my jersey without big problems, thanks to the whole team. So it's normal I want to give something back,” he said.

World road race champion Philippe Gilbert is still searching for his first win of the year and Frank resolved to try to help him achieve that.

“It was very hectic going into the climb. The last climb was full gas after we had an easy day,” he explained. “I had good legs – there were three guys still there, Tejay, Phil and me. So we decided to give Philippe a go. I tried to lead him out as well as I could.”

Gilbert came up against a powerful Peter Sagan, though, and like many this year he was unable to get the better of him. He finished third, being also pipped by Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo Tinkoff).

Still, he appreciated the effort. “When you see the yellow jersey working for you, it is always something special,” he said. “They gave me nice positioning for the sprint. But Sagan and Bennati are really quick. I was third behind a really fast guy – one of the fastest of the whole bunch – so it's not a shame.”

Frank now has the 26.8 kilometre time trial from Bad Ragaz to Flumserberg to negotiate. The final ten kilometres are uphill, gaining over 1000 metres, and he’ll hope that this will be enough to seal what would be the biggest win of his career.

If so, it will continue his evolution in his home tour, an event he has previously won the awards for the best climber, best Swiss rider and the winner of the sprints classification.

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