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BMC gets wild-card invitations to Tours of Qatar and Oman

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
November 18, 2009, 14:53 GMT,
Updated:
November 18, 2009, 14:40 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The BMC team riders before the start.

The BMC team riders before the start.

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US-based Pro Continental Team adds Middle East to its calendar

BMC Racing Team is filling up its racing calendar for the first part of the season, as it has received wild card invitations to the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman. The US-based team featuring new captain and World Champion Cadel Evans will open its season with the Tour Down Under in January, followed by the two Middle Eastern races in February.

Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the team was “extremely happy” to be invited to the two races. The Tour of Qatar runs February 7 to 12, and is immediately followed by the Tour of Oman, February 14 to 19. “These are the two perfect stage races with which to begin our assault on the new season,” he said.

Both races are organised by the Tour de France organiser ASO in conjunction with Eddy Merckx.

“The team for Qatar will most likely be led by riders Alessandro Ballan and Marcus Burghardt. And with John Murphy, we will have an excellent sprinter present,” Lelangue said. It will be the team's third consecutive appearance at the race.

For the premiere Tour of Oman, the team will probably look to Brent Bookwalter, who will celebrate his 25th birthday during the race. The American is a time trial specialist who this year won the prologue of the Tour of Utah.

“The Oman parcours is substantially more selective than Qatar, and the final time trial is particularly suited for Brent,” according to Lelangue.

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