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

The BMC team riders before the start.

The BMC team riders before the start. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

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.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1