A 14-kilometer team time trial and several expected sprint finishes in often windy conditions provide the BMC Racing Team with a number of opportunities to gauge early-season fitness when the six-day Tour of Qatar begins Sunday.
Making The Selections
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said two weeks of training camp in Spain in windy conditions helped simulate some of the same conditions of the often wind-swept race through the desert. “I think we have a very strong team for a number of scenarios, especially making the selections created by the wind,” Stewart said. “I will be looking for riders like Marcus Burghardt, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet to make those smaller selections when they appear.” Taylor Phinney, who will be starting the race for the third time, said it is a perfect one to begin his season. “Personally, I love the Tour of Qatar,” he said. “The hotel where we stay is the best of the year and the organization of the race is fantastic. I am especially looking forward to it this time around because for the first time in my career I am coming off of a problem-free winter. I am very strong and confident after last season and can’t wait to be in sunny and windy Qatar mixing it up with my BMC Racing Team boys and our competitors.”
BMC Racing Team Tour of Qatar Roster (Feb. 3-8):
Adam Blythe (GBR), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Taylor Phinney (USA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Jackson Stewart (USA)
Giovanni Ruffini (ITA)
Mechanics: Thierry Viaene (FRA), Ronald Ruymen (BEL). Soigneurs: Gunther Landrie (BEL), Marc Paeme (BEL), Stefano Rubino (ITA).