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Lelangue guiding the BMC squad in training (foto: Olivia Kaferly)
Lelangue guiding the BMC squad in training (foto: Olivia Kaferly)

"We are a little disappointed with this result"

1. February 2009

Doha

On the strength of the quality of the squad coming to Qatar as well as the exceptional efforts made in training since the beginning of the team camp, the BMC Racing Team had expected to come away with a much better result in the Tour of Qatar's Stage 1 Team Time Trial. 

Tackling the 6 kilometer out-and-back course, BMC missed the smooth organization during the second half of the stage and finished 18 seconds behind stage winners Garmin-Slipstream.

Not really according to plan

"We are a little disappointed with this result, because I know we could have done better," Directeur Sportif John Lelangue explained.  "We had the legs but our organization was totally different than we had practiced in training and that of course cost us time."  Though the team was racing with the necessary smoothness in the paceline on the first section of the course, things started to go a little pear shaped once they turned to head back to the finish line.  "Our return section was very chaotic and nothing like we had practiced," Lelangue said.  "We are disappointed not to have fulfilled our goal of finishing in the top 10, but we won't dwell on this and rather start to look at the next stages."

Seconds today could be minutes tomorrow

With the chance of powerful winds creating dangerous echelons, the race could be blown apart on the open roads of Qatar.  "Our sprinters are looking very strong and we are confident that whether the stages come to a mass sprint or the field gets splintered by the elements, our guys will have the legs to be in at the finish," Lelangue declared.  The team's top 10 ambitions have by no means been dampened by the loss of time in Stage 1.  "We need to be present at the finish of each stage to launch one of our sprinters," Lelangue said.  "Martin Kohler is looking very strong and both Markus Zberg and Tony Cruz have the experience to make the jump with the best sprinters in the world."  At such a prestigious early season event, it will be important to the team morale for them to be present in the final sprints particularly considering the stiff competition on offer.  "We are confident we will always be active in the first group," Lelangue reiterated.