BMC dominates the team time trial

Team Sky take second, Omega Pharma-Quick Step third

Inspired by a flying performance from Taylor Phinney and backed by some specific preparation at their January training camp, BMC stormed to victory on the stage 2 team time trial of the Tour of Qatar, beating Sky by five seconds over the 14km out-and-back test. The result means that Brent Bookwalter retains the golden jersey and he now has four BMC teammates for company in the top five overall.

The pan flat course along Al Rufaa Street in the Doha hinterland was hardly the most stimulating, although the blustery conditions did at least require some degree of tactical finesse. The teams rode along a deserted highway into a block headwind for 7km, and then took a sharp left turn and came back, this time hurried along by the stiff breeze. The question, therefore, was how best to dose one's effort over the two halves of the circuit.

At the halfway point, Team Sky had a lead of some 11 seconds over BMC but the feeling from the British squad at the finish was that they had simply burnt too many matches on the way out. Having lost Chris Sutton and Gabriel Rasch shortly after the midway point, the men in black were unable to make the most of the wind at their backs in the finale and their advantage duly crumbled.

BMC were the last team off, and by contrast, they had been relatively cautious starters, but with Phinney taking the reins on the fast run-in to the line, the balance began to tip in their favour. The American youngster was the ringleader of their effort, but he had strong assistance from the golden jersey of Brent Bookwalter in particular, as well as Steve Cummings before he swung off in the closing kilometres.

Although BMC finished the bare minimum of five riders, they stopped the clock some five seconds quicker than Team Sky to claim the stage victory, maintain Bookwalter's golden jersey and place Phinney, Adam Blythe and Greg Van Avermaet in prime positions near the head of the general classification. Omega Pharma-QuickStep took third place, 10 seconds down, while RadioShack-Nissan came home a further second behind in fourth.

"I like to go well in the time trial, but it's a little better for me when there are changes and it's up and down," said Bookwalter, who paid tribute to the part Phinney played in sparking the BMC comeback on the return leg.

Indeed, though only 22 years of age, Phinney was very visibly the conductor of BMC's team time trial effort, reminding his teammates to check they were in the right gear at the start, cajoling them through the course's one technical section, and then going into overdrive on the final 800 metres to the finish line.

"Team time trialling is my kind of thing and I like stepping into more of a leadership role," Phinney said afterwards. "Brent's the one in the leader's jersey right now but I'm the one with a little bit more team time trialling experience, so I can be upbeat and keep everyone relaxed and happy and at the same time motivate them. It was great, it went perfectly."

Preparation

Team time trial training is (almost) par for the course at pre-season training camps these days, but BMC took its pursuit of marginal gains one step further at its January get together in Denia by practising the discipline on their road bikes with the specific demands of the Tour of Qatar team time trial in mind.

Steve Cummings explained that the preparation had been the brainchild of new BMC performance director, Allan Peiper, and even though he was a late replacement for Marcus Burghardt in Qatar, the team's order had been established. "There was quite a lot of work done specifically for this team time trial in Denia with Allan Peiper and Max Sciandri, and it all just felt so smooth," he said. "On a course like this, there are no hiding places, but if you've got a good strategy, it's straightforward."

The block headwind in the opening half of the course meant that strategy played a greater role than one might anticipate on an otherwise undemanding circuit. RadioShack, for instance, employed a double pace-line on the way out, mindful of the conditions, and that cautious approach saw them hit the midway point all of 20 seconds down on Sky.

On the way back, Cancellara was let off the leash, however, quickly dropping Stijn Devolder and Yaroslav Popovych en route to dragging his team to fourth place and giving a early indication of his condition ahead of the classics. "It's not an individual stage," Cancellara said. "Everyone showed good strength today, and I think we can be happy with our performance."

Going into Tuesday's 143km stage from Al Wakra to Mesaieed, Bookwalter leads a block of BMC riders at the head of the overall standings, but the in-form Bernhard Eisel (Sky) looms with menace at 11 seconds, just ahead of teammates Edvald Boasson Hagen and Geraint Thomas, and there are still only 33 seconds separating the top 20 on GC.

"It's just not me who is wearing the leader's jersey, I feel like it's the whole team," said Bookwalter. "Those guys made it happen today and I'm just honoured to be the one wearing it."

The Tour of Qatar continues on Tuesday with the 143km third stage from Al Wakra to Mesaieed. Time bonuses, cross winds and early-season form are likely to again decide who comes out on top.

Full Results

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Racing Team0:16:07 
2Sky Procycling0:00:05 
3Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:10 
4Radioshack Leopard0:00:11 
5Katusha Team0:00:15 
6Astana Pro Team0:00:17 
7FDJ0:00:23 
8Orica Greenedge  
9Cannondale0:00:24 
10Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:26 
11Team Argos-Shimano0:00:30 
12Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:33 
13Team Netapp-Endura  
14Iam Cycling0:00:37 
15Vacansoleil-DCM0:00:51 
16Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:00:59 
17Champion System0:01:16 
18Japan0:01:48 
General classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team3:44:44 
2Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:06 
3Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:00:10 
4Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
5Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
6Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:00:11 
7Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:15 
8Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
9Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
10Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling  
11Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:20 
12Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
13Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
14Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:21 
15Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:00:23 
16Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha0:00:25 
17Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha  
18Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:27 
19Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:00:33 
20Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge  
21Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge  
22Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
23Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:34 
24Tiziano Dall’Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
25Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:36 
26Jonas Aaen Jorgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
27Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
28John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:38 
29Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
30Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ0:00:39 
31Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:40 
32Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
33Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling0:00:41 
34Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
35Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ0:00:42 
36Markel Irizar (Spa) RadioShack Leopard  
37Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:43 
38Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
39Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:00:46 
40Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling0:00:47 
41Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard0:00:48 
42Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:52 
43Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:53 
44Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:00:54 
45Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
46Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:57 
47Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling0:00:58 
48Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:01 
49Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
50Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
51Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
52Sébastien Minard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:04 
53Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha0:01:07 
54Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:01:08 
55Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura0:01:16 
56Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:01:18 
57Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard0:01:23 
58Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:24 
59Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard0:01:32 
60Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:34 
61Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:01:37 
62Murilo Antoniobil Fischer (Bra) FDJ0:01:45 
63Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:01:46 
64Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:02 
65Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling0:02:20 
66Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura0:02:24 
67Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
68Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling0:02:52 
69Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:09 
70Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
71Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling0:03:10 
72Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha0:04:07 
73Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard0:16:23 
74Nelson Santos Oliveira (Por) RadioShack Leopard  
75Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha0:16:27 
76Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team0:16:29 
77Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
78Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
79Soupe Geoffrey (Fra) FDJ0:16:35 
80Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ  
81Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge  
82Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
83Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:16:36 
84Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
85Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
86Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:16:38 
87Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:16:42 
88Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano  
89Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team0:16:44 
90Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
91Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:16:45 
92Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La Mondiale  
93Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura  
94Hugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale  
95Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
96Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale  
97Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:16:46 
98Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:16:49 
99Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling  
100Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:16:51 
101Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura0:16:54 
102Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:17:03 
103Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
104Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:11 
105Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
106Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
107Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
108Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
109Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
110Chan Jae Jang (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:17:28 
111Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
112Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
113Chun Kai Feng (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
114Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:34 
115Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard0:17:38 
116Pengda Jiao (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
117Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:17:45 
118David Boucher (Fra) FDJ0:17:47 
119Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:17:53 
120Brett Daniel Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
121Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Japan0:18:00 
122Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Japan  
123Junya Sano (Jpn) Japan  
124Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan  
125Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Japan  
126Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:18:05 
127Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha0:18:09 
128Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:18:14 
129Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Ag2R La Mondiale  
130Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Japan0:18:15 
131Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling0:18:33 
132Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:18:38 
133Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan0:18:46 
134Fumeaux Jonathan (Swi) IAM Cycling0:18:55 
135Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:19:00 
136Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:19:05 
137Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:19:12 
138Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:19:13 
139Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
140Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
141Christian Delle Stelle (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:19:24 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team15 pts
2Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling12 
3Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling11 
4Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard9 
5Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team7 
6Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling6 
7Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team5 
8Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff4 
9Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha2 
10John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano2 
11Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling2 
12Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ1 
Best young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team3:44:50 
2Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:00:04 
3Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:09 
4Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:15 
5Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha0:00:19 
6Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:27 
7Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:28 
8John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:32 
9Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:47 
10Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ0:00:48 
11Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:01:56 
12Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura0:02:18 
13Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:03 
14Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha0:04:01 
15Nelson Santos Oliveira (Por) RadioShack Leopard0:16:17 
16Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team0:16:23 
17Soupe Geoffrey (Fra) FDJ0:16:29 
18Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ  
19Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:16:30 
20Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano0:16:36 
21Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team0:16:38 
22Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura0:16:39 
23Hugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale  
24Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale  
25Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:16:40 
26Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:16:45 
27Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:16:57 
28Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
29Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:05 
30Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
31Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
32Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
33Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
34Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
35Chan Jae Jang (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:17:22 
36Chun Kai Feng (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
37Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:28 
38Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:17:59 
39Kohei Uchima (Jpn) Japan0:18:40 
40Fumeaux Jonathan (Swi) IAM Cycling0:18:49 
41Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:18:54 
42Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:18:59 
43Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:19:07 
44Christian Delle Stelle (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:19:18 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Racing Team10:42:28 
2Sky Procycling0:00:05 
3Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:10 
4Katusha Team0:00:15 
5FDJ0:00:23 
6Orica Greenedge  
7Team Argos-Shimano0:00:30 
8Radioshack Leopard0:00:32 
9Team Netapp-Endura0:00:44 
10Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:47 
11Iam Cycling0:00:48 
12Astana Pro Team0:00:49 
13Vacansoleil-DCM0:00:51 
14Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:03 
15Cannondale0:16:26 
16Champion System0:33:31 
17Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:49:05 
18Japan0:49:54 

 

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