BMC dominates the team time trial

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

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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 GreenedgeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Cannondale0:00:24
10Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:26
11Team Argos-Shimano0:00:30
12Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:33
13Team Netapp-EnduraRow 12 - Cell 2
14Iam Cycling0:00:37
15Vacansoleil-DCM0:00:51
16Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:00:59
17Champion System0:01:16
18Japan0:01:48
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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 TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:00:11
7Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:15
8Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 7 - Cell 2
9Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 9 - Cell 2
11Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:20
12Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:21
15Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:00:23
16Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha0:00:25
17Alexander Porsev (Rus) KatushaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:27
19Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:00:33
20Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 20 - Cell 2
22Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 21 - Cell 2
23Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:34
24Tiziano Dall’Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:36
26Jonas Aaen Jorgensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 25 - Cell 2
27Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:38
29Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ0:00:39
31Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:40
32Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 31 - Cell 2
33Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling0:00:41
34Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ0:00:42
36Markel Irizar (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 35 - Cell 2
37Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:43
38Roger Kluge (Ger) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 37 - Cell 2
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) FDJRow 44 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 50 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling0:02:52
69Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:09
70Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 69 - Cell 2
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 LeopardRow 73 - Cell 2
75Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha0:16:27
76Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team0:16:29
77Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Soupe Geoffrey (Fra) FDJ0:16:35
80Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJRow 79 - Cell 2
81Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 81 - Cell 2
83Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:16:36
84Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 83 - Cell 2
85Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 84 - Cell 2
86Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:16:38
87Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:16:42
88Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 87 - Cell 2
89Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team0:16:44
90Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 89 - Cell 2
91Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:16:45
92Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 92 - Cell 2
94Hugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La MondialeRow 93 - Cell 2
95Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 95 - Cell 2
97Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:16:46
98Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:16:49
99Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM CyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:11
105Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 104 - Cell 2
106Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 105 - Cell 2
107Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 106 - Cell 2
108Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 107 - Cell 2
109Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Chan Jae Jang (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:17:28
111Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Chun Kai Feng (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:34
115Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard0:17:38
116Pengda Jiao (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
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-GreenEdgeRow 119 - Cell 2
121Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Japan0:18:00
122Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) JapanRow 121 - Cell 2
123Junya Sano (Jpn) JapanRow 122 - Cell 2
124Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) JapanRow 123 - Cell 2
125Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) JapanRow 124 - Cell 2
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 MondialeRow 128 - Cell 2
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-TinkoffRow 138 - Cell 2
140Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 139 - Cell 2
141Christian Delle Stelle (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:19:24
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Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team15pts
2Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling11Row 2 - Cell 3
4Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard9Row 3 - Cell 3
5Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team7Row 4 - Cell 3
6Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling6Row 5 - Cell 3
7Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team5Row 6 - Cell 3
8Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff4Row 7 - Cell 3
9Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha2Row 8 - Cell 3
10John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano2Row 9 - Cell 3
11Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling2Row 10 - Cell 3
12Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ1Row 11 - Cell 3
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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) FDJRow 17 - Cell 2
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 MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 23 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:17:05
30Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 29 - Cell 2
31Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 30 - Cell 2
32Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 31 - Cell 2
33Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 32 - Cell 2
34Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Chan Jae Jang (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:17:22
36Chun Kai Feng (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
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
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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 GreenedgeRow 5 - Cell 2
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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