The BMC Racing Team came from behind to win the 14-kilometer team time trial Monday
at the Tour of Qatar and successfully defend the overall lead of Brent Bookwalter,
who won Sunday’s opening stage.
A Consistent Pace
Knifing through the desert wind on their BMC timemachine TMR01s, five of the eight
BMC Racing Team riders crossed the line together in 16 minutes and seven seconds,
five seconds faster than runner-up Sky Pro Cycling and 10 seconds ahead of
third-placed Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Bookwalter said the team did not panic when it
reached the halfway point nine seconds slower than Sky. “My biggest worry was that
we would get too excited and blow guys up,” he said. “I felt like we already had a
consistent pace and we were actually cautious on the turnarounds. So maybe we lost a
couple seconds there. But I was confident the energy we saved was going to come
through near the finish. Taylor (Phinney) and Michi (Schär) were ridiculously strong
at the end.”
Total Team Effort
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said specific practice for the
team time trial during last month’s training camp in Spain paved the way for
success. “We had our rotations down and I thought we did everything perfectly,” he
said. “We only lost Steve Cummings, Adam Blythe and Yannick Eijssen at the end. They
really sold out. Then Taylor made an incredible pull for the last 800 meters that
kept the speed incredibly high.” The result also allowed Bookwalter to keep his lead
in the points classification with four stages to go. Phinney, in second overall,
remains the best young rider while assuming the “excellency” jersey from Bookwalter.
In addition to the aforementioned riders, Greg Van Avermaet and Larry Warbasse were
also part of the winning squad. “It’s just not me who is wearing the leader’s
jersey, I feel like it’s the whole team,” Bookwalter said. “Those guys made it
happen today and I’m just honored to be the one wearing it.”
Tour of Qatar results after Monday’s second
stage, a 14km team time-trial, in Al Rufaa:
1. BMC (USA) 14km in 16min 07.21sec
(Phinney, Schar, Bookwalte r, Blythe, Van Avermaet. Av. speed 51.12 kph)
2. Sky (GBR) at 5sec
3. Omega Pharma Quick Step (BEL) 10
4. RadioShack (LUX) 11
5. Katusha (RUS) 15
6. Astana (KAZ) 17
7. FDJ (FRA) 23
8. Orica (AUS) 23
9. Cannondale (ITA) 24
10. Saxo-Tinkoff (DEN) 26
1. Brent Bookwalter (USA) 159km en 3hr 44min 44sec
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) at 6sec
3. Adam Blythe (GBR) 10sec
4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) s.t.
5. Michael Schär (SUI) s.t.
6. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) 11sec
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) 15sec
8. Geraint Thomas (GBR) s.t.
9. Mathew Hayman (AUS) s.t.
10. Luke Rowe (GBR) s.t.
11. Mark Cavendish (GBR) 20sec