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There's no mistaking that the BMC Racing Team is in the Middle East. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
There's no mistaking that the BMC Racing Team is in the Middle East. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour of Oman, Stage 1: Bunch Sprint

18. February 2014

A bunch sprint concluded Tuesday's opening stage of the Tour of Oman, with all eight riders from the BMC Racing Team finishing in the peloton.

The Stage:
Beneath sunny skies and in warm temperatures, the peloton traveled 164.5 kilometers from Suwayq Castel to Naseem Garden.

The Day's Breakaway:
Four riders attacked from the opening moments of the race – Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF) and Preben Van Hecke and Jelley Wallays (both of Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) – and enjoyed a five-minute lead before being captured inside of 30 km to go.

A Key Moment:
When the peloton turned into a crosswind with 25 kilometers to go, the BMC Racing Team and several other squads increased the pace and the bunch split. André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) were caught in a trailing group of about 30 riders. After 15 kms of chasing, they rejoined the peloton.

The Podium:
André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) beat Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) to take the first leader's jersey.

Best For The BMC Racing Team:
Greg Van Avermaet was the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider, in 15th, in the same time as the stage winner.

What Peter Velits Said:
"The stage was pretty simple. It was flat and the wind wasn't that strong to make a big difference. In the end, it came down to a bunch sprint so it was pretty simple. It wasn't easy, but it was straightforward."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"At the end, it was really windy. So we decided to try something. The group was briefly split into three, and André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) were in the second group. But the wind was not so strong and with 10 km to go, it all came back together."

Watch behind-the-scenes videos of Marcus Burghardt and Greg Van Avermaet.

Listen to complete comments from Piva and Velits on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.View photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.