Tyler Farrar (Garmin) is making his 2010 season debut at the Tour of Qatar but was soon in the thick of the action, leading the Garmin team to second place in the opening team time trial on Sunday and then making the key selection that split the bunch on stage two.
Farrar lost some time in the final kilometres when the Cervelo Test Team went on the attack but is still ninth overall. He is 2:41 behind new race leader Wouter Mol but only 36 seconds behind Tom Boonen (Quick Step).
Unfortunately his Garmin teammate Steve Cozza is out of the Tour of Qatar after breaking his collarbone in a crash. Martijn Maaskant also went down but was unhurt.
"It's certainly not the easiest way to start your season. And we lost Cozza. That's too bad. You never like to hear that news at the start of the season," Farrar told Cyclingnews after the finish of stage on Monday.
"I was good enough to be in the front group and that makes me happy. I'm feeling okay about my form just by doing that but it was hard for sure. You can have good sensations in training but you never really know until the first race."
Farrar revealed how the race was blown apart in cross winds just before the first sprint and the change in race direction from north to south.
"Before the first sprint, maybe eight or ten kilometres before it, the road bent to the right a bit and the cross wind happened. Quick Step and Cervelo blew thing apart and it was very fast," he said.
"I would have liked to have done a little better on the stage but at least I was up there at the end. When you're alone against so many guys, it's kind of hard to do very much. I hope I can get a good result on a stage before the end of the week but this was a good first test."