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The BMC Racing Team finished seven of eight riders in the front group Wednesday, including Swiss national road champion Michael Schär (in white), Martin Kohler (second from right) and Marcus Burghart (far right). (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
The BMC Racing Team finished seven of eight riders in the front group Wednesday, including Swiss national road champion Michael Schär (in white), Martin Kohler (second from right) and Marcus Burghart (far right). (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour of Qatar, Stage 4: Fast-Paced Race

12. February 2014

Helped along by a tailwind, the peloton made it a short day at the Tour of Qatar Wednesday, averaging nearly 60 kilometers an hour in a two-and-a-half-hour race that culminated with a bunch sprint that included nearly every rider from the BMC Racing Team.

The Stage:
The 135-km course from Dukhan to Mesaieed was completed more than 30 minutes ahead of the fastest schedule. The peloton averaged 56.8 kph and 68 riders finished in the same time as the stage winner.

The Podium:
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won his second stage – and the 22nd of his career at the Tour of Qatar – by out-sprinting André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Barry Markus (Belkin Pro Cycling).

Best for the BMC Racing Team:
Past Swiss national road and time trial champion Martin Kohler finished 23rd and Greg Van Avermaet was 24th, both in the same time as the winner. Seven of the BMC Racing Team riders finished in the leading group.

In The Overall:
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) remains the race leader with two stages to go, 17 seconds ahead of his teammate, Boonen. BMC Racing Team's Philippe Gilbert moved up one spot to 11th overall, 1:23 behind.

What Philippe Gilbert Said:
"The start was extremely fast. We had about a 56 kph average. It is one of the fastest races I have ever done. It was amazing. We had the (Shimano Dura-Ace) front chain ring of 55 and sometimes this helped a lot. We had a tailwind, sometimes a little bit crosswind, but mostly tailwind. I was not able to sprint, but I was trying to help Martin Kohler. It was not easy because Quick Step took the right place on the road and then it was very hard to go in the front."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"It was good today because the team was together. I sometimes heard on the radio that we were trying to attack and pull fast. We don't have a sprinter here but we will try again to win tomorrow. In Qatar, it's difficult, if you don't have a sprinter."

Looking Ahead:
Thursday's penultimate stage is 159 km from Al Zubara Fort to  Madinat Al Shamal.

View photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

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