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The BMC Racing Team rode nearly the entire day on the front to control the pace. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
The BMC Racing Team rode nearly the entire day on the front to control the pace. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Dubai Tour, Stage 2: Phinney Keeps The Lead

6. February 2014

BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney was third in Thursday's bunch sprint at the Dubai Tour to increase his overall lead by one second over teammate Steve Cummings with two days to go.

Team Rode Well As A Unit
Phinney earned a one-second time bonus for finishing behind stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) and runner-up Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team). Phinney said his main goal was to stay safe and let the BMC Racing Team control the pace in the 122-kilometer race. "The team rode really, really well as a unit," he said. "Rick Zabel and Sebastian Lander rode the whole day on the front and controlled everything and Yannick Eijssen, Steve Cummings and Klaas Lodewyck looked after me in the final." Phinney said he was not aiming to win a second straight stage, but saw an opportunity 500 meters before the finish and decided to go for it. "Some guys were pulling off and with a tail crosswind like that, you can gain a lot of speed from behind," he said. "I just started to pass everybody and did my own sprint. I started really early – maybe 300 meters out – but unfortunately started to die a bit with 75 meters to go."

Hushovd A Helpful Road Captain
In the overall standings, Phinney leads Cummings by 15 seconds, with Lasse Norman Hansen (Garmin-Sharp) in third at 17 seconds. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said he liked what he saw from the BMC Racing Team after three riders (Francisco Mancebo, Diogo Nunes and Willie Smit) escaped the clutches of the peloton. The trio enjoyed a nearly three-minute lead before being reeled in with 10 km to go. "The team was really good," Sciandri said. "We have Thor Hushovd, who is an experienced guy, always looking after us. He's kind of the road captain. Taylor finished it off with a great sprint. But you never know what to expect when you look at these maps, especially with the wind and finishing on an island." Friday's penultimate stage contains some undulating terrain near the end of the 162-km route.

Listen to complete comments from Phinney and Sciandri on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

View photos from the race in our Flickr gallery.