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Silvan Dillier – a NeoPro and an Elite World Champion!


Silvan Dillier
Silvan Dillier. World Champion.

Sometimes you can just tell a rider is a bit special, BMC’s Swiss road and track man, Silvan Dillier is one such rider.

We first came across him on Six Day duties, he made the podium in Gent and Zürich but was forging a name for himself in the summer, too.

A stage win in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2012 then the GC in the Tour de Normandie, last year were preludes to a stage win in the 2013 Tour of Alberta whilst riding as a stagiaire and meant there was little doubt about his moving up from the BMC Development squad to the World Tour team.

And now, as a first year full pro, he’s an Elite world champion.

Part of the BMC machine which ended QuickStep’s domination of the TTT.

VeloVeritas caught up with him a day or two after his triumph.

Congratulations, Silvan, how much specific TTT training did you do before the race?

“Since the Eneco Tour of Benelux, I was focusing on the time trial.

“This meant I was training two or three times a week on my BMC TimeMachine TM01.”

Silvan Dillier
The victorious BMC squad, with Silvan second left. Photo©Casey Gibson

Can you tell us you average and highest watts?

“The average watts are a bit under threshold.

“When you pull, it is over threshold.

“When you rest, it is under.

“So because you “rest” longer on the wheels than if you pull in front, the average is a bit under threshold.

“The maximum is almost as high as in a sprint, so over 1,000 watts.”

What was the highest speed you recorded?

“The maximum speed I had recorded on my SRM was 91kph!”

Which was the hardest part of the ride?

“The last third was the hardest.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan pulls at the front of the team – it takes 1,000 watts of pain to win a World Championship. Photo©sportal

Who was strongest?

“Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis were really strong!”

What did you think of the parcours?

“It was a nice one for a team time trial.

“It was an undulating course, which is not easy to ride as a team.

“This made the race more interesting!”

Did you receive time checks?

“Yes, we had radios and the sport directors (Allan Peiper and Jackson Stewart) were giving us the time splits.”

Did you get much chance to drink/eat during the race?

“You don’t have time to eat, but you were able to take some sips of PowerBar drink on certain points.”

Did you have “rules” about waiting if someone punctured?

“Yes, we had a strategy prepared, just in case.

“But we were “sure” we were not going to have a mechanical.

“The BMC Racing Team staff prepared the bikes very carefully!”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan (2nd R) about to take his spell at the front. Photo©SkySPorts/AP

Did your team pursuit experience come in handy?

“In some way the team pursuit helped for sure.

“But it is still different on the road with six riders instead of four.”

Tell us about the ‘hot seats’ please.

“To be honest, I was sitting there – but I had no clue what I was doing there.

“It was like in a dream!”

Silvan Dillier
The moment on the hot seat that Silvan and his team mates realise they’ve won. Photo©UCI

If someone had said at the first race of 2014; ‘you’ll be a world champion this year, Silvan!‘ what would you have said?

“I would have laughed out loud!”

Did you have a nice celebration?

“We celebrated a bit, but most of us had some more races to come in Ponferrada, so it was not partying the whole night.”

Are there many more races for you, this autumn?

“My road season is over now.”

Will we see you on the winter boards?

“I will do the first Track World Cup in Mexico and then the Six Days in Gent and Zürich.”

Silvan Dillier
Silvan in action at the Copenhagen Six Day in 2012 . Photo©John Young

When’s the first BMC camp for 2015?

“We are already scheduled to meet in December to prepare for the 2015 season.”

What are you looking for from 2015?

“I will compete again in the classics and then also in a Grand Tour.”

Here at VeloVeritas we feel there’s a lot more to come from this young man.

With thanks to Silvan and ever-helpful BMC team Press Officer, Sean Weide for arranging this interview.

Silvan Dillier
Silvan won the Tour of Normandy last season. Photo©David Allas

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.

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