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BMC Racing Team's Sebastian Lander (left) and Danilo Wyss rode near the front of the peloton to stay out of trouble. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
BMC Racing Team's Sebastian Lander (left) and Danilo Wyss rode near the front of the peloton to stay out of trouble. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour of Qatar, Stage 5: Staying Safe

13. February 2014

The BMC Racing Team stayed safe in the peloton Thursday at the Tour of Qatar as strong winds made for some nervous moments.

The Early Going:
The wind played a factor again in the 159-kilometer race from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal. Omega Pharma-Quick Step, the team of race leader Niki Terpstra, was vigilant at the front, and marked several early attacks by the BMC Racing Team.

The Day's Breakaway:
Four riders – Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing), Patrick Gretsch (Ag2r La Mondiale), Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha Team), Daniel Schorn (Team NetApp-Endura) – enjoyed a nearly seven-minute advantage before being hauled in by the chasing efforts of the teams looking to contest the bunch sprint.

The Podium:
André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) held off Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Theo Bos (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) to take the win. In the overall standings, Terpstra retained his 17-second lead over Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

Best For The BMC Racing Team:
Former Danish national road champion Sebastian Lander was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher on the day, placing 41st, 10 seconds after the stage winner. In the overall standings, Philippe Gilbert is best-placed for the BMC Racing Team in 13th overall, 1:33 off the lead.

What Marcus Burghardt Said:
"I think on the second day, we were too far behind on the headwind part and then we had a bad position for the cross tailwind. Today, we did it better. We were on the front with our riders and positioned well. Tomorrow, I think the wind should be less. Normally, nothing happens on the circuit. Maybe five or six riders will get away, but they will be brought back."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"The race was very nervous at the start. Everyone was ready, though, and we went to the front and tried to jump in some attacks. But it was clear Omega Pharma-Quick Step was only going to let some riders out of the general classification from small teams go. Then, the sprinter teams like Lotto and FDJ worked to close the gap. Whenever it was crosswind from the front, our riders were in good position. Of course, we don't have a sprinter so it was not possible to try something in the final."

Looking Ahead:
Friday's final stage begins at Sealine Beach Resort and travels north, up the coast to Doha Corniche, where the peloton will complete nine laps of about six kilometers for a total distance of 113.5 km.

More Coverage:
Click here to photos from the race.

Listen to complete comments from Burghardt and Piva on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.