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BMC Racing Team's Adam Blythe (right) sprinted to second place behind Tom Boonen (center). (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
BMC Racing Team's Adam Blythe (right) sprinted to second place behind Tom Boonen (center). (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Tour of Qatar, Stage 1: Blythe Runner-Up

5. February 2012

Doha, Qatar

Some reconnaissance session on the eve of the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar helped BMC Racing Team's Adam Blythe score a runner-up finish to Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) Sunday and take the best young rider's jersey.

Key Position For Sprint

When BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue learned the stage finish had been moved from Doha Golf Club to New Atlantic College due to road construction, he took the squad's sprinters for some after-dinner reconnaissance of the wide, straight road. "We went out and looked at the final three kilometers," Blythe said. "I don't think many people knew how far it was from the top of that little rise to the finish. I knew I had to be in the top five or three before that. So it helped that I knew what position I had to be in."

Team Time Trial Monday
Blythe trails Boonen by four seconds in the overall standings heading into Monday's 11.3 km team time trial. "It's going to be a pretty tough one," Lelangue said. "The course is like a big cross, so there will be change of direction with the wind. It will be pretty difficult. There are some roundabouts you have to take at full speed but we'll try to make a good race. We're taking things day-by-day." BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd and Klaas Lodewyck were caught up in a crash at one point in Sunday's 142.5 kilometer race but neither was seriously hurt, Lelangue said.