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BMC Racing Team mechanic Aaron Fairley helps Greg Van Avermaet get going again after a crash during Monday's stage of the Tour of Qatar. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
BMC Racing Team mechanic Aaron Fairley helps Greg Van Avermaet get going again after a crash during Monday's stage of the Tour of Qatar. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour of Qatar, Stage 2: Costly Crash

10. February 2014

A crash that delayed all eight riders on the BMC Racing Team Monday at the Tour of Qatar virtually eliminates any hope for a high finish overall, Sport Director Valerio Piva said.

No One Seriously Hurt
Silvan Dillier and Greg Van Avermaet were the team's two riders most involved in the large pile-up that happened as the peloton was approaching a turn with about 50 kilometers to go in the 160.5-km race. With strong winds blowing for the second straight day, everyone was jockeying for position, Dillier said. "I didn't touch the ground, but my front wheel had to be fixed before I could jump on my bike again," Dillier said. No one was seriously hurt, but the hold-up was most costly to Swiss national road champion Michael Schär, who had been sitting third overall. "I made a big sprint to get to the second echelon," Schär said. "Then, in the second sprint of the day (with 35 km to go), we were only five seconds behind the first echelon and I thought we could close it. But somehow we didn't organize ourselves enough."

Still Going For A Stage Win
At the finish, Schär's group had conceded 48 seconds to a group of 18 that contained race leader Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team) and his teammate, Tom Boonen, who took the stage win. Piva said not having someone from the BMC Racing Team near the front when the crash happened proved costly. "We needed to be in a good position at that moment," he said. "We will try again. We lost the battle, but not the war. From the beginning, I told the riders it is important to win a stage here because the GC (general classification) will be decided with Tuesday's time trial and we really don't have a specialist for it. There are still two days after tomorrow, so we will keep trying for a victory." Schär, in 14th place at 1:03 behind Terpstra, is still the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider overall.

Click here to view photos from the race.

Listen to complete comments from Dillier, Piva and Schär on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.