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Tour of Qatar 2008 race map
Tour of Qatar 2008 race map

BMC Racing Team Tour of Qatar Preview

24. January 2008


In spite of it being well past midnight in Qatar, John Lelangue takes the time to give us a run down of BMC’s goals for the coming weeks.

First off, John, what are your general feelings for the Tour of Qatar?

John Lelangue: Well, we are very happy to be here in Qatar.  For seven years now it has been a very popular race for many of the top teams to attend, largely because it is so well organized and because it offers much warmer weather than what we are finding in Europe or much of North America at this time of year. 

What are your goals in Qatar?  What will make it a success for BMC?

JL: We have ambitions for this race in particular, but it will also be beneficial for the guys getting ready for the Tour of California.  For Qatar we will always want to be on the offensive.  It is largely a sprinter’s paradise, so we have brought three of our strongest sprinters in Martin Kohler, Danilo Wyss and Tony Cruz.  Since around 70% of the stages can be considered perfect for the sprinters, we will take each day and set up one of the three sprinters.  As for the other riders, we will be certain to make an appearance in every big breakaway and always stay on the offensive. 

Considering Qatar’s reputation for being extremely windy, I suppose you chose a team that would be able to power through the gusts?

JL: Though it has not been so windy since we have arrived, that can certainly change any minute in Qatar.  We brought a team that would be strong enough to protect one of the sprinters each day, along with Mike Sayers who will be our master at positioning the sprinters for the last few hundred meters of each race.  And then the rest of the guys will be working on getting in and even creating the winning breakaways.

Who’s on form and what are the short-term goals for BMC?

JL: First and foremost, we want to be competitive in Qatar.  We have brought a team to succeed, and we intend to be in all the big breaks.  But our first big objective will come with the Tour of California.  California is an important American event where many top teams from both America and Europe come to race.  Naturally, America is a big market for us, so we will bring our A-List team.  Scott Nydam who is here in Qatar will be one for our California GC as is obviously in good shape.  Also he will have the advantage of having six days of racing in his legs to blow out the cobwebs. 

In addition to Nydam, we have Alex Moos who has been preparing in Santa Rosa ever since the training camp in early January.  He will remain in California and have the chance to preview all the stages; he will definitely be one of our guys for the GC.

And I can’t overlook Darren Lill.  He is flying at the moment.  He came into training camp having just stepped off a plane from South Africa, and was shooting up the hills and looks very strong in the time trials – and now he’ll have the new BMC Time Machine to work with, we’re expecting big things from him this year, beginning with California.

Gavin Chilcott has said that the team will be the laboratory for the sponsors.  Will you be paying attention to the equipment with innovations in mind?

JL: Well, of course that is an on-going process throughout the year.  We will stay in touch with BMC and offer any and all feedback that will help them in future developments.  But we are pretty confident that we are the best equipped team on the circuit.  All the riders so far are very happy with this newest generation of bicycle. 

Not only do we have BMC, but we are also very happy with the Assos sponsorship. You can really tell the benefit in a climate like this, and the guys are still coping with the heat in their riding togs.   And the Dopobici line of casual clothing is a great help presenting a good image for the team on and off the bike.

BMC Racing Team for Tour of Qatar

Danilo Wyss, Martin Kohler, Steve Bovay, Scott Nydam, Taylor Tollison, Jackson Stewart, Tony Cruz and Mike Sayers

Team Management:
Gavin Chilcott and John Lelangue