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Marcus Burghardt in the lead of the BMC Racing Team (Photo by Tim De Waele).
Marcus Burghardt in the lead of the BMC Racing Team (Photo by Tim De Waele).

Tour of Qatar, Stage 1: Eighth For Starters

7. febbraio 2010

Doha

The BMC Racing Team conceded 21 seconds for eighth place in Sunday’s West Bay Lagoon team time trial as the six-stage Tour of Qatar got underway.

Director Sportif John Lelangue said the team’s finish in the five-mile (8.2 km) race against the clock in wind-swept conditions was respectable. The Sky Pro Cycling Team won in 9 minutes and 41 seconds while the BMC Racing Team clocked a 10:02. “When you look at our results, we are in the same time as the sixth-place team and only three seconds off fourth place, so I think with the team that we have, we are in our place,” he said.

Protecting Burghardt and Ballan
Stage 2 Monday is the 91-mile (147 km) Camel Race Track-Qatar Foundation Road Race. The BMC Racing Team’s objective is to make sure its leaders make the front group, Lelangue said. “For the first 90 kilometers, it will be headwind and side winds so that will be a selective part,” he said. “Marcus Burghardt and Alessandro Ballan are in good shape overall and we know we have to protect those two riders because there will always be splits every day.”

Saddened By Ballerini’s Death
News of the death of former Italian professional cyclist Franco Ballerini in a rally car accident sent shockwaves through the race. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Sportif Fabio Baldato and Ballan had worked with Ballerini. For Ballan, the loss was particularly hard as Ballerini was his national coach when Ballan won the 2008 UCI world road championship. “It was really bad news for all of the world of cycling because Franco was a respected rider,” Lelangue said. “With everything he had done on the classics side as a rider and he was one of the best national coaches – not only for Italy – but also around the world. He was a really fine tactician and a really good guy.”