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Another warm day in the desert had Greg Van Avermaet picking up Elite PowerBar bottles from Sport Director Valerio Piva. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Another warm day in the desert had Greg Van Avermaet picking up Elite PowerBar bottles from Sport Director Valerio Piva. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour of Oman, Stage 2: Protecting The Leaders

19. February 2014

The BMC Racing Team worked hard to protect its leaders for the overall classification Wednesday at the Tour of Oman, particularly late in the race when the peloton turned into a headwind.


The Stage:
Traveling southeast from Al Bustan, 139 kilometers to Quriyat, the route included two intermediate sprints, no significant climbing and winds which grew stronger as the race continued.

Moments Of Silence:
Before the start, a minute of silence was observed as the race remembered Kristof Goddaert (IAM Cycling), who died Tuesday after a crash in training in Belgium. Goddaert had competed last week at the Tour of Qatar. 

The Day's Breakaway:
Three riders escaped in the first 5 kilometers: Paolo Colonna (Bardiani CSF), Aldo Ino Ilesic (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise). They built a maximum advantage of more than seven minutes before being hauled in with nine kilometers left.

The Podium:
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Team) out-sprinted Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to win the race.

Best For The BMC Racing Team:
Marcus Burghardt registered his best finish of the season with eighth-place in the bunch sprint.

In The Overall Standings:
Howard assumed the red leader's jersey from Stage 1 winner André Greipel (Lotto Belisol).

What Greg Van Avermaet Said:
"It was windy, but most of the time a tailwind or a headwind. It was a pretty easy day again. In the final, it was a bit crazy with the headwind to the finish. But we tried to protect Peter Velits and Tejay van Garderen, so everything went well. From tomorrow on, a hard Tour of Oman gets started with a nice stage for me and Philippe Gilbert. Then there is a mountain stage and the stage on Green Mountain, so that's three stages we can look forward to and get some nice results."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:

"Tomorrow, it will be hard in the final. It will be very nervous because everyone will want to be in a good position. I expect more of the real attacks and selection to take place in the final 10 km. It will be very nervous, too, because everyone will want to be in good position. Tomorrow we will need to pay attention because the sprinter teams might not pull when there is a breakaway. So the teams interested in the GC (general classification) will have to be attentive to the early breakaway. I expect the final 10 km will be decisive."

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

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