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Marcus Burghardt’s fifth-place finish overall led the BMC Racing Team at the Tour of Qatar. (Photo by Tim de Waele.)
Marcus Burghardt’s fifth-place finish overall led the BMC Racing Team at the Tour of Qatar. (Photo by Tim de Waele.)

Tour of Qatar, Stage 6: Burghardt Finishes Fifth Overall

12. February 2010

Al Wakra

Marcus Burghardt said his fifth place finish on the final classification at the Tour of Qatar certainly bodes well for the BMC Racing Team and its prospects for the upcoming spring classics.

A Team Effort
Burghardt held onto the position he gained on Stage 2 during Friday’s final stage, a 77-mile (123.5 km) race through the picturesque streets of the seaside city of Al Wakra. The 26-year-old German finished 2:05 behind overall winner Wouter Mol of the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team. “The whole team did a good job of helping me hang on the past four days,” Burghardt said. “They always made sure I was in the first group and out of the wind in a good position.” Burghardt said the high speeds of the six-day race made for good training for the classics. “To keep a good position, you always had to keep an eye out and always be focused on the race,” he said. “It’s good that we know to stay together the whole race so I think we’re very well prepared for the classics.”

Murphy 10th In Final Stage
Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas-Doimos) won his second stage in a chaotic mass sprint while BMC Racing Team rider John Murphy scored his third straight top 15 finish with 10th on the day. That result, BMC Racing Team Director Sportif John Lelangue said, is sign of things to come for the reigning U.S. national criterium champion. “A top 10 here without a formal lead-out is a good thing for him,” Lelangue said. “John was really fast in the last kilometer and even more in the final 500 meters. He was really strong all week so we’re seeing the future of what he can do.”

Kohler’s Breakaway Seals The Deal
Less than two miles into Friday’s race, a group of four riders – that included BMC Racing Team’s Martin Kohler – escaped the field and eventually gained a 3:30 advantage before being brought back with three miles to go. Kohler is quickly becoming the team’s breakaway specialist, having spent 80 miles in an escape on Stage 4, 60 miles in one at the Santos Tour Down Under last month and another 71 miles in the one today. Lelangue said the breakaway was key to keeping Danilo Napolitano (Team Katusha) from gaining the five seconds he needed to overtake Burghardt on the overall classification. “We wanted to create an early breakway to prevent him (Napolitano) from winning the two bonus sprints. Finishing top five is a lot different than placing sixth when you announce it.”

Tour of Oman Begins Sunday
The BMC Racing Team will board a flight Saturday morning to travel to the Tour of Oman, which begins Sunday night. The six-day race covers 426 miles (687 km) and includes an 11.5-mile (18.6 km) individual time trial on the final stage.