We last spoke to up and coming 23 year-old Swiss star, Silvan Dillier back in the spring after his win in the Tour of Normandie; since then he’s been a busy man.
There was stage win in the hotly contested Triptyque Ardennaise in Belgium, a win in Cham-Hagendorn in Switzerland and stage in the Fleche Ardennaise in Belgium.
Then came a ride as a stagiaire with the BMC World Tour team – and an excellent win in Stage Two of the Tour of Alberta.
Not surprisingly it was recently announced that the man from Baden will be riding alongside Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert at BMC for season 2014.
Dillier showed early promise with a Swiss national title in the novice’s road race in 2006.
A year later he was winning stages in the Junior Peace race and Junior Tour du Pays de Vaud.
In 2008 he took national junior titles in the time trial and omnium – and won the Zürich UiV race (U23 Six Day series).
A year later he was national U23 road race champion and the following year national U23 time trial champion.
In 2011 the results began to cascade; national U23 omnium, time trial and madison champion, European madison champion, le Trois Jours d’Aigle track event and second in the Zürich Six Day with Glenn O’Shea behind Marvulli/Keisse.
Last season saw him second in the Berlin Six Day and national U23 road race, win the U23 time trial title again as well as the European U23 pursuit title and a stage in the Tour de l’Avenir; not forgetting third in the Gent Six Day.
He was in the Swiss squad which took silver in the Mexico round of the World Cup in January of this year and then the build up for his road season began, climaxing with his fine win in Alberta.
VeloVeritas spoke to him just after the announcement was made that he’ll move up to the BMC World Tour team for 2014.
Congratulations on your stage win and contract, Silvan – tell us about your victory please.
“The victory was a bit a surprise for me because as a stagiaire you don’t count on the fact that you’re going to be in a position to win – especially from a two man breakaway!”
49.2 kph for the stage – how did you manage to stay away?
“We had a favourable wind, so it was fast anyway.
“But we just tried to go as hard as possible in the last 30 kilometres because that’s where the peloton charges hardest to catch you.”
When you crossed the line did you think; ‘this must get me a contract?’
“It wasn’t only about a contract; a win like that is always going to be so important for your career.
“It makes the life of a cyclist much easier when you show everybody that you’re able to win races – that’s the job of a pro cyclist.”
Do you have a manager to help with the contractual aspect – is it a complicated process?
“I am my own manager so sometimes it’s a bit harder to manage all these things but in a way it’s also nice to do everything by your own.”
What were your impressions of the Alberta race compared to a race at a similar level in Europe; organisation – the Media, fans?
“For me, it was amazing in Alberta.
“It was well organized and the fans were crazy at the starts and finishes.
“After my win, I got the chance to give interviews to newspapers and television – it was nice to have these experiences.”
How did it feel to be riding alongside and eating dinner with a Tour de France winner – did he make you feel welcome?
“It’s amazing if you have the chance to talk with a big star like Cadel Evans.
“We had some good conversations and he gave me some tips for racing and training.”
You rode in Norway then Canada – how do you feel about all the travelling associated with the World Tour?
“The BMC Racing Team management organizes these travelling days very well, so it’s not too much stress.”
What’s the programme from now ’til the year end?
“I have some more races with the BMC Racing Team like GP de Wallonie and Franco Belge – I’ll finish my road season with Paris-Tours.
“On the track, I will do the first World Cup and the Six Days in Gent and Zürich.”
Will you be riding the road Worlds – which events?
“I’m not part of the Swiss National Team this year; BMC team hasn’t discussed my programme for 2014, yet.”
Will you still have your own coach or does the team provide a coach?
“Until now I’ve been my own coach – but I don’t know yet how it will work for next year.”
Has the team spoken to you about how they wish you to prepare for season 2014?
“There are some training camps with the team over the winter, but otherwise I will do my own preparation programme at home.”
What are your impressions of World Tour racing generally compared to Division Two/U23 races?
“It is more organized at the higher level, less hectic and safer in the peloton – but when they go fast, they go really fast!”
Will we still see you on the track – bearing in mind the Swiss team pursuit team is starting to look quick – but you also have a road season to get ready for ?
“We will see how it develops – but my main goal is the road, so first I will focus on this.”
What about the Six Days – what’s the team’s attitude to you riding them?
“For this year they’ll let me do Six Days – but I’ll take step by step.”
What are your goals for 2014?
“I like stage races and hunting there for victories like I did in Alberta – so if I get a chance to do so, I’ll take it.”