BMC and Team Saxo Bank reflect on the Team Time Trial of Stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar:
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.”
A second consecutive win was the outcome for the BMC-squad on today’s second stage of Tour of Qatar where Brent Bookwalter expanded his overall lead after winning the 14 kilometer long team time trial.
The Team Saxo-Tinkoff line-up finished in the middle of the field:
“The boys are preparing for the season and on a stage like this, it becomes obvious that they’re on different levels at this time of the year. But they worked well together as a team. After about ten kilometers of racing a few riders were dropped. However, I’m content with the boys’ performance and I’m looking forward to the stages ahead of us,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Tristan Hoffman after the stage.
The Danish squad finished tenth with a loss of 26 seconds.