Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeInterviewsSilvan Dillier - Winner of Le Tour de Normandie 2013

Silvan Dillier – Winner of Le Tour de Normandie 2013

-

As the Pros battle it out across Flanders, the young men who aspire to do the same in the future are locking horns in another famous name from the history of warfare – Normandy. Le Tour de Normandie is one of the premier events on the calendar for men on the way up – Viatcheslav Ekimov, Thor Hushovd and Samuel Dumoulin are among the riders who have won the race. This year’s winner was a man who’s already proved his worth on the track; 22 year-old Swiss rider Silvan Dillier of the BMC Development Team took the GC by a scant three seconds from 2011 winner, Alex Blain (France & Raleigh).

Silvan Dillier
Silvan takes the race lead at the Tour of Normandy.

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).

The following year 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 U23 madison champion, le Trois Jours d’Aigle track event and second in the Zurich six day with Glenn O’Shea behind Marvulli/Keisse.

Silvan Dillier
Silvan is now a very experienced Six Day rider, regularly pairing with the best in the business, such as Franco Marvulli.

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.

VeloVeritas spoke to Dillier the day after his Normandie triumph.

Silvan Dillier
Silvan’s biggest win.

Congratulations on Normandie – 7th in the prologue, a good start, did the parcours suit you?

“Yes, the parcours was quite technical – all the corners and the ups and down made the parcours really hard, so it was a good one for me.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan rides to a solid placing in the Prologue.

Stage one – a sprint, how did it go for you?

“We tried to help our sprinter Ignazio Moser to go for a good result.

“In the end he went out a bit too early; but we have still some time to progress in developing the lead out for his sprints.”

Stage two, you were sixth – did you begin to think about the GC?

“I tried to focus on every stage itself.

“My objective was more on a stage win than to win the overall; maybe to wear the yellow jersey for one day would be great and finishing top ten.”

Stage three and Blain won, you were third – a good day then?

“It was the day where the classement got more structure – there were only 10 guys left for the overall win and I moved into third place overall.”

Silvan Dillier
Heading for third place, in the shelter of a teammate.

Stage four and you were 11th but took the lead from Blain by 7 seconds – did you think you could win overall?

“I felt really good in stage four.

“The finale was hard and I attacked Blain in the last lap; seven seconds aren’t so much but by then I was thinking about the overall win.

Stage five – Zabel won (is he as fast as his dad?) did you have any difficult moments?

“This stage was the hardest I’ve ever ridden so far.

“We were attacked by the entire peloton the whole day long.

“Even when the break was gone (only after 80km) and we controlled the race, they were attacking us.

“The finale loop was really hard; but I suffered until the end so I didn’t lost time.

“It’s hard to say if Zabel is as fast as his dad – but for sure he’s fast!”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan starts the last day in the yellow jersey, destined to take the overall victory.

Stage six and I believe it was a ‘bonus battle’ and Blain got close – tell us about it.

“I wasn’t afraid of the last stage, but I gave it a lot of respect.

“Blain is fast in the sprints and so he took back two seconds on me in the first bonification sprint.

“But he had still three seconds to go. I once lost a stage race by 5 seconds (Tour de Pays de Vaud, U19), so I knew it’s hard to win them.

“In the bunch sprint at the end there were some really fast sprinters and I knew it would be hard for him to finish top three for some more bonifications.”

Your biggest win?

“For sure it’s my biggest win.

“This is my first overall win of a tour and it’s not a stage race over three or four stages; I mean one week is quite a long time to go.”

How did you get into cycling?

“Since I was a child I participated in a cycling race in our village, just for fun.

“When I got older I began to go training with the cyclists of the region – and so I started cycling.”

Who were the riders you admired as a young cyclist?

“I hadn’t a big idol but I knew a bit about Roman Kreuziger.

“When I started cycling he was junior in a Swiss Team and he was really strong.”

How did you get the ride with BMC?

“Rik Verbrugghe spoke with me at the European U23 Championships, last year.

“I hadn’t a contract at that time and he was offering me a good option for the season 2013.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan represented Switzerland at last year’s World Championships. Photo©Ed Hood

How does the team compare to your previous amateur squads, Team Voralberg and EKZ Racing?

“I mean the EKZ Racing Team is a really good one for a Swiss Elite Team, but BMC Development is like being in the Pro team!”

It must be cool to work with Rik Verbrugghe as DS?

“Yes it is fantastic, he applies no pressure – he’s cool and relaxed.

“With the huge experience he has it’s just perfect to work with him as a young rider.”

Is the goal to be with the BMC Pro Tour team for 2013?

“I would like to get a stagiaire place in the Pro Team this season.

“If I could sign with the team for 2014 it would be great!”

When do you rest? You ride World Cups and Six Days over the winter.

“I take some rest after the road season and between the track races.

“It’s not a break of one month; I prefer to take two breaks for one week.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan Dillier & Robert Bartko exchange in a chase at the Gent Six Day.

That was a good ride by the Suisse team pursuit squad in the Mexico World Cup.

“It was fantastic, at first we couldn’t believe the great time we did (4:02).

“It’s taken us a long time to arrive at this level.”

If you go full pro it would be difficult to ride the Six Days, with the road season starting so early…

“It all depends on the race programme I have; but for sure it’s not easy.

“My main goal is the road so I will make my plans based around that.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan is presented to the Zürich Six Day crowd by Urs Freuler.

What’s the programme for the next few months?

“I’ll have more stage races with BMC Development in the USA, Belgium, France, Italy . . .”

If you could only win one race – what would it be?

“It’s hard to say, I mean there are so many nice races, but the Olympics is something really special.

“I would choose this.”

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Grenoble Four Day 2012 – Day One: Sprints, Shows & Stretchers

We’re at the Grenoble ‘Six’ – only it’s no longer a ‘Six;’ in line with Zürich, they’ve cut it back to be the Grenoble Four Day. I haven’t taken any pictures of the Paris Folies girls yet - I got into an awful bother last year with those topless shots – and decided to wait and see what the outfits were like before I reached for the Nikon.

Paolo Bettini – World Road Champion

Some times it's difficult to get an interview, especially if your target is World Road Race Champion, Paolo Bettini. He has a Quick Step entourage with him and he's testing his new Specialized road bike for 2007. But us VeloVeritas guys are persistent, and after stalking him all afternoon I was granted just five minutes of his precious time.

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Final Report

A crowd of around 12,000 filed into the Landsberger Allee Velodrome tonight for the Berlin Six Day 2013. The large numbers continued a trend for the Six Days - with an estimated 70,000 coming through the doors - attendance figures are up rather than down, a good sign going forward.

Iljo Keisse – Putting the Worst Time of His Life Behind Him

The cheer from the cabin next door to ours - below the Grenoble velodrome - told us that the result Flanders had been holding it's breath for, had arrived. Belgium's number one Six Day man, Iljo Keisse's 'positif' in the 2008 Gent six day race has been dismissed on the grounds of 'insufficient evidence.' "Cathine was not found in the 'B' sample and HCT was there in quantities so small as to have no effect on performance."

Gent Six Day 2010 – Third Night, Iljo Keeps the Lead but Frays a Little

I just received an email from Rapha; "The New Tweed Softshell and City Riding Collection" - that's exactly what I need, tweed. Set a new trend at the Kuipke. We're here for the Gent Six Day 2010.

Copenhagen Six Day 2011 – Opening Night; It’s Not Like It Used To Be

It wasn't a great first night, sparse crowds, lack lustre chases and I seemed to spend the whole day gittering about to little effect; but we're set up, the hotel is great, the boys are all relaxed and it's Friday - so maybe we'll get a better crowd. The Copenhagen Six Day 2011 is 'old school' - long chases are what Six Days are all about say the organisers; I'm not so sure.

At Random

Into The Bumps: Eneco 2010 Stage 3

Into The Bumps. Stage 3 saw the profile go from pancake flat to very lumpy. It was bound to be a day where things were shaken up somewhat on the over all standings, but Canadian hardman/topbloke Svein Tuft is a quality athlete, so we were quite excited about still being in the mix.

Spokes Racing Team Launch, 2016

We headed to the launch of the recent 2016 Spokes Racing Team, the freezing weather failing to curb the enthusiasm of 120 supporters who had all paid £30 per head to attend the event, held in the Old Manor hotel in Lundin Links, Fife. Spokes team owner owner Craig Greive and director sportiv Blair Whiteside had put together quite an evening with guest speakers including former pro and now DS at One Pro Cycling James McCallum (who's still looking fit), the Lord Provost of Fife and Director at Dunfermline Football Club and quite the celebrity and public speaker, Jim Leishman.

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Four, Nae Middle

Ciao from il Giro d'Italia 2010, amici! I was saying to Martin that I'm a bit worried, I've been wakening up feeling great - always a bad sign. The trouble with my usual Giro partner in crime, Dave being back in Scotia and suffering from Giro withdrawal symptoms (he's coming to le Tour, though) is that everything we write and photograph is subject to close scrutiny.

Gilbert Gilbert

Gilbert Gilbert. That's Gilbert repeating. Geddit?? haha! Dad Joke if ever I saw one! Today, stage 4, is another one for the punchy power climbers, with Phillipe Gilbert being the red-hot favourite. The finale is a 2km 6.6% kicker which is still probably not hard enough to let skinny blokes like Contador and Schleck do their thing, and will be more up Evans or Gilbert's alley.

Jörg Jaksche – “I decided to tell the whole story, I can look at myself in the mirror”; Interview Part II

As a man who’s incurred the wrath of the UCI and the professional teams for ‘fessing up,’ and is in London this weekend to take part in the "Change cycling Now" meeting, we thought that it would be interesting to get Jörg Jaksche's views on the current situation. If you read the first interview, you’ll remember that at the end of 2010 he was living in Austria, still without a team and wondering about his future – two years later, here’s what he told us...

Andy Smallwood – Ribble Cycles CEO Talks Tech, Teams and Traditions

When Sasha Castling of Ribble Cycles contacted us to ask if we’d be interested to hear more about the company’s decision to run a TV ad. campaign promoting their wares during the Tour de France, we took the opportunity to ask the man behind the company, Mr. Andy Smallwood a wide range of questions about his business, the sport and that, ‘tech stuff.’