2014 News

Bookwalter Looking For More Prominent Role at BMC

Brent Bookwalter has been with the BMC Racing Team ever since he turned professional in 2008. He has seen the team go from underdogs to Tour de France champions. Now heading into his eighth professional season, the 30-year-old hopes that he can play a bigger role in the American squad.

"I'm a little bit older now but I'm still getting better every year and I'm excited to show that to the team and give it all I've got," said Bookwalter. "I'd like to think I have ambitions to grow into a more prominent role within the team. I've done six Grand Tours, I've been through a lot with this team and I think they know that they can count on me."

In recent years Bookwalter has formed an integral part of Cadel Evans' support team. He rode with the Australian during his Tour de France victory and helped him through his last tilt at a Grand Tour at the 2014 Giro d'Italia. With Evans retiring after his Great Ocean Road Race, which ends on February 1, Bookwalter may have to look for a new niche. However, he says that the team is changing shape and their new style of racing has opened the door for more riders to find success.

"In the past year this team has broken out of the mould to how we were racing in the past years. Starting to race in this new more aggressive style bodes well for us moving on from Cadel's departure," said Bookwalter.

"Guys like myself and Mickey Schär we got the first wins of our pro careers in the last two years due to this broadening of our mentality… When you've got a guy like him you can have full confidence that he can deliver so you can ride intensely and you know he will do it at the end. With him it opens it up but now we are racing this way and I think it will open up some new opportunities."

Evans joined the team two years after Bookwalter, in 2010, along with a host of other big names as the team looked to step up from Pro Continental level. "That was the first year where we jumped into the next level of the sport and I was really lucky to be a part of that," Bookwalter said. "He gave the team a few incredible years and gave me amazing years, races and memories. I'll never forget those and I'll always be thankful to him for those. It was a huge honour to ride alongside him."

Stepping up

Bookwalter will have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to show the team what he can do. He was meant to begin the season at the Tour Down Under as part of Evans' "farewell team" but a toe injury has delayed his start a few weeks until the Dubai Tour.

Bookwalter fractured his toe in an off the bike incident but chose not to elaborate further. The injury could have had a bigger impact on Bookwalter's season if it hadn't been for some ingenuity. "At first it was really swollen so I got a shoe and cut out a toe box so the toe could stick up and breathe. I put a different insole in it and I stuck my cleat all the way to take some of the pressure off it as possible and I was only riding inside," he explained.

"That derailed me for a couple of weeks. I've just tried to be patient and the team'’s been great and haven't put any pressure on me… They didn't want me to go to that and then have lingering issues after that for most of the year. I'm really happy with the recovery from that and I'm back in my normal riding shoe."

After the Dubai Tour, Bookwalter's goals are not yet set in concrete. He's likely to ride the Tour Méditerranéen and stay in France for the subsequent races. While he hasn't got any primary target for 2015, he would like to return to France later in the year.

"I'd really like to go back to the Tour again," said Bookwalter. "Last year I rode the Giro with Cadel but Tejay and I have a good relationship and I've shown before that I can be a good teammate in the Tour. I'd like to go back there but that said, the roster in this team is really stacked. I think they know that part of my value in this team is that I'm a guy that can be put into a lot of different places."

Read the full article: CyclingNews


U.S. encouraged by Bookwalter and Howes as road worlds conclude

PONFERRADA, Spain — The American team left Ponferrada with encouraging performances by Brent Bookwalter and Alex Howes in Sunday’s 254.8-kilometer elite men’s road race. Both finished within 14 seconds of the winner. Bookwalter was 25th, and Howes finished 30th in a rainy race that exceeded six hours of riding.

An early four-rider break that included Ukraine’s Oleksandr Polivoda, Croatia’s Matija Kvasina, Lithuania’s Zydrunas Savickas, and Colombia’s Carlos Julian Quintero built up a 15-minute advantage on the peloton after four of 14 laps, but the gap began to come back down as Poland pushed the pace.

When the four leaders were caught with just over three laps to go, only Bookwalter and Howes remained in the race for the U.S. squad. Howes had recovered from a crash to catch back on to the main field.

“It was a tricky course with some really nasty downhills,” said Howes. “I was feeling pretty good up until a little fall with like four to go or so. I had to do some chasing but the boys helped me out, helped get me back up there.”

“We had four guys that we wanted to get into the race as deep as possible and see where it shuffled out,” Bookwalter said. “None of us are really proven at this level at 250km, but I think we’re all getting better each year. I thought the race was really hard. We were down to only a couple guys with a few laps to go so Alex and I were just trying to hang tough. I think he was actually probably better than me, and then he was unfortunately caught up in that little bit of a crash so that took a lot of energy out of him.”

Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski made the decisive attack in the final lap, and he managed to stave off the hard-charging field and claim the rainbow jersey ahead of Australia’s Simon Gerrans and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde. Bookwalter was in a group just seven seconds behind Kwiatkowski, with Howes coming in 14 seconds off the winning time.

“I felt like I had one speed. I could peg it at basically threshold the whole time, and guys would attack and kind of come back, and guys would move up the field and come back, and I was just grinding along at the same speed,” Bookwalter said. “It wasn’t quite enough to get into position to go for a top 10 or a good result, but I gave it everything I had all the way to the very last meter.

“It was just fast the whole day. It definitely ramped up at the end but not as much as some of the other worlds that I’ve done in the past. This one was just fast and hard all day. Those guys obviously had an unbelievable acceleration at the end. We were so deep into the race and everyone was so tired. That’s one of the things that make these one-day races so beautiful and dramatic is it really takes every last ounce out of you.”

With the world championships returning to U.S. soil for the first time in 29 years in Richmond, Virginia for 2015, Bookwalter spoke about the inspiration that will give to the American riders.

“We’re really inspired to have a chance to race worlds in Richmond next year,” he said. “We have a great group of guys here and a few guys that aren’t here. We’ve been kind of building up to this for a long time with this group of guys, this generation, and we’re really excited to put on a good showing in Richmond.”

The U.S. team wrapped up the world championships with four medals in the team time trials and two more in the individual time trial, including a silver medal by Adrien Costa in the junior men’s time trial, and a bronze medal by Evelyn Stevens in the elite women’s time trial.

In the team time trial competition, Tejay van Garderen, Carmen Small, and Evelyn Stevens each won gold medals racing with their trade teams, while Alison Tetrick earned a bronze medal with her Astana BePink women’s team.

Other top-10 performances by the U.S. during the week included fifth-place efforts from Zeke Mostov and Emma White in their respective junior time trials, a sixth-place finish by Shelley Olds in the elite women’s road race, and an eighth place by Alison Powers in the elite women’s time trial.

Original Article: http://www.velonews.com/2014/09/news/strong-showing-bookwalter-howes-road-worlds-conclude_347660#T01rBpR1iMsTEs3x.99

U.S. Announces Elite Men’s Roster for 2014 Road world Championships

“USA Cycling has announced the roster for the elite men’s team that will represent the U.S. at the 2014 UCI road world championships, Sept. 21-28 in Ponferrada, Spain.”

“The elite men’s road team is made up of three automatic nominations and three discretionary selections. The three automatic nominations are Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), and Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop).”

“Joining that trio are three discretionary selections — Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp), Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing),and Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare).”