Frank disappointed but seeing big picture after Suisse time trial loss
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Frank disappointed but seeing big picture after Suisse time trial loss

by Kyle Moore at 6:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Suisse
 
Time spent in yellow jersey has Swiss rider competing with added confidence

Mathias FrankMathias Frank (BMC Racing) was unable to put up the fight that he would have liked in his defense of the leader’s jersey in the Tour de Suisse, and although he was disappointed by his drop from first to fifth on the final stage, Frank was looking at a glass half-full in his comments after the stage.

Frank was nursing a 13-second advantage over Movistar’s Rui Costa, the defending champion of the race, entering Sunday’s final time trial. The stage was a difficult 26.8km test, culminating in the final 10km climb of the Flumserberg ascent. Frank had fought tooth and nail to hang onto the overall lead ever since he took it after Monday’s stage three, but his home tour was just one stage too far.

He managed to finish the final time trial in 19th position, 1’56” down on Costa, who took the stage and overall win in dominant fashion. Overall contenders Bauke Mollema (Blanco), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), and Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff) all had relatively strong rides, finishing in the top ten in the time trial. The result was a drop to fifth place overall for Frank, 1’43” behind Costa.

Frank said that he put everything he had into the time trial effort, even though on the road, it didn’t feel like it would be good enough.

“I felt myself getting slower and slower the farther I came up,” Frank admitted of the Flumserberg climb. “These are the hardest moments – when you realize you can't quite hold it where you want to be. Maybe I mentally cracked at this moment for a bit. Still, I gave it everything. I fought to the end.”

The Swiss rider credited his team-mates for their assistance through the week. He also gave a revealing look into his mindset, making it clear that, at age 26, he is still developing as a rider who can be a protagonist in stage races.

“The guys on the team were great this week. I have to see it in the whole picture,” Frank stated. “I think I had a great Tour de Suisse. It gave me a lot. I started to believe in myself. I haven't been in this situation many times. It's still a learning process.”

Given his run of outstanding late spring performances – he was fourth overall in the Tour of California to go along with his fifth place in the Tour de Suisse – Frank is likely to merit a start in the Tour de France to support leaders Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen. He is currently listed on the team’s long list.

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