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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. - Henry David Thoreau

Racing today:

Upcoming racing:

Tejay van Garderen to Open 2016 Season in Spain

BMC sent me this news:

09 February 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Tejay van Garderen will have the chance to test his legs for the first time in 2016 at the upcoming Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia and Clasica de Almeria races.

It is the first time that BMC Racing Team will take a team to the two one-day races on February 13 and 14, BMC Racing Team Sports Director, Jackson Stewart said.

Tejay van Gardeen

Tejay van Gerderen in the 2016 BMC kit

"They're great races to start the season with. We're sending a solid GC team to the two races so that they can get a couple of good race days in their legs before continuing on to Ruta del Sol. Really anyone from the team has a shot in Murcia, and then Almeria is traditionally a sprinters' race."

It is van Garderen's first time opening his season at the Spanish races. "The decision to start the season in Spain is due to a number of reasons. I've opened the two previous seasons with the Tour of Oman, but we felt it was a good idea to stay in Europe, in the same time zone, with a better climate and eliminate the travel involved. These races are competitive and will really set my season up well."

Rider Roster: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Samuel Sanchez (SPA), Tejay van Garderen (USA)

Sports Director: Jackson Stewart (USA)

BMC was busy, they also sent me this Qatar Tour update:

10 February, Doha, Qatar: BMC Racing Team finished with two riders inside the top five in today's 11.4 kilometer Individual Time Trial at the Tour of Qatar, which was dominated by Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension Data).

Powerhouse Manuel Quinziato stormed home to finish in third place, elevating him to third in the General Classification behind new race leader Boasson-Hagen. Van Avermaet's fourth place has bumped him up to fourth overall on the GC, with Daniel Oss taking tenth in today's ITT, and Michael Schär rounding out the GC in tenth place.

The ITT was a good indication of his current form, Quinziato said. "Third in a time trial at this level is a good sign. I spent a good winter at the training camps we did. I knew I had good shape in training but you never know how're you're going to feel in the race and today was a good confirmation that I'm starting the season off on the right foot.

"We are happy. I think we are in third and fourth on GC with two stages to go, so we can still try something.'

Van Avermaet is happy with his performance in the ITT so early in the season. "I'm pretty happy with my time trial. Before last year I had never done a good time trial so I tried to do my best this year. I did the same average in terms of power as last year which was good.

"I think I'm fourth in the GC. I was hoping that Boasson Hagen would not be so strong and that everyone would stay at the same level so that I could have taken the jersey. It's a little bit disappointing but it's only the start of the season."

The peloton faces a long day in the saddle tomorrow with a 189 kilometer stage from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.

With three riders in the top ten on GC, BMC Racing Team currently leads the Teams Classification.

LottoNL-Jumbo's Qatar Tour news release:

Jos van Emden nearly won the Tour of Qatar time trial, just overtaken by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) who not only won stage three but took the race lead on Wednesday. The strong Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider was 25 seconds short of the Norwegian over the 11 kilometres that they rode on normal road bikes.

Jos van Emden

Jos van Emden

When Jos van Emden finished his race against the clock in Lusail, he had the best time. “His time was very hard to beat,” sports director Jan Boven said. “We immediately knew that he had a chance to win this time trial. It’s a pity that Boasson Hagen beat him, but Jos didn’t have a weak moment in his race. Boasson Hagen’s time is impressive. We’re fed up by this second places because we know from last year that it’s hard to win races.”

“I never consider myself well off, but I thought that I would have a good chance to win this time trial,” van Emden said about his second place. “When I heard that Boasson Hagen was 25 seconds faster, it hurt me. It’s always hard to be dethroned, but it proves that he’s simply the best on the other hand. I delivered a good time trial. The difference between is the power.”

On Thursday, the riders will cover a characteristic Qatari stage. “It’s going to be the longest and toughest day of the race,” Boven added. “We’re going through the desert in the north of the country. The roads are completely unprotected, so we have to be sharp in the wind. We have to be focused to make the first echelon. Today, we saw that everyone has a high level, so that’s a good sign.”

Lampre-Merida on the Qatar Time Trial

The team sent me this note:

The third stage of Tour of Qatar was crucial for the overall classification: the riders covered an 11 km individual time trial in Losail, which was characterized by a long straight and 8 bends.

Special bikes for time trial were not allowed.

The fastest rider for Lampre-Merida was once again Sacha Modolo, who covered the course in 14'48".

Sacha Modolo

Sacha Modolo racing last year at the Giro del Piemonte

This performance did not allow the Italian cyclist to be in the upper part of the stage standing, being 43rd at 1'22" to the time which was recorded by the winner Boasson Hage, who pedaled at an average speed which was a little bit higher than 50 km/h.

After the time trial, Modolo is 11th in the overall classification, at 1'18" to the new leader Boasson Hagen and at 3" to the 10th place which is now occupied by Schar.

The 4th stage, which will start from Al Zubarah Fort and will end in Madinat Al Shamal after 189 km, will be suitable for the sprinters and Modolo will try to add another good result to his participation in the Arab race.

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