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Tony Cruz is leading the BMC Racing Team at the prologue in Doha. (Picture Tim De Waele)
Tony Cruz is leading the BMC Racing Team at the prologue in Doha. (Picture Tim De Waele)

Tour of Qatar Prologue

27. January 2008


With the Tour of Qatar’s prologue being an unorthodox, “let’s mix it up a bit” 6km team time trial, many surprises can be expected and specific strengths will be required of all the competitors.  BMC Racing Team is pleased with its results today.  John Lelangue picks up the story:

JL:  The guys did very well today.  We took 12th, but if we had finished just two seconds faster we would have been 7th.  So yes we are very pleased and feel it was a good time trial.  Those two seconds we could have gained back perhaps with a few technical improvements, and we can certainly work on that.  But there are some very good Pro Tour teams behind us in the standings.  The good news is that everyone is in shape since all 8 of our guys finished together, so we can only be pleased with them.

Do you feel you are in a position to fight for the GC yet?

JL: Ah, no, not yet.  We are still concentrating on doing well in individual stages.  But Qatar is always a race where echelons can form in the very windy conditions, or larger breakaways can get gaps that will then make it possible to start calculating the GC into our plans.  Tomorrow will be a very important stage, and we think a very good stage for us.  Last year the first stage also proved instrumental in shaking up the GC, and we believe we have a team capable of mixing it up and being there when the selection is made.

Did the weather conditions impact the race today?

JL: Not so much.  It was not too windy today.  It was a little wet in the morning when we went out for a training ride, but by race time it had dried.  The conditions really couldn’t have been better.

How much of a chance did the guys have to train for this team time trial?

JL: They have been training together for this during the days we have been in Qatar leading up to the start of the race.  And when we had our training camp in California earlier this month, we had some specific team time trial training time set aside for the members coming to Qatar.  It is an unusual format and quite early in the season, but we tried to be as prepared as possible.  And we are content with the results.