Team BMC Racing powers to team time trial victory in Tour of Qatar
Powering their way through the strong desert winds on Al Rufaa Street in Qatar, five of the eight BMC riders crossed the finish line together, completing the 14 kilometer stage in 16 minutes and seven seconds, five seconds faster than runner-up Team Sky Procycling and 10 seconds ahead of the third-placed Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.
The team time trial had started bad for Team BMC Racing and the stage was led by Team Sky Procycling at the mid-way point. However, the BMC team fought hard to regain control.
Describing the team's performance in today's stage, race leader Bookwalter said he and his teammates did not panic when it reached the halfway point nine seconds slower than Sky Procycling.
"My biggest worry was that we would get too excited and blow guys up," he explained and added "I felt like we already had a consistent pace and we were actually cautious on the turnarounds. So maybe we lost a couple seconds there. But I was confident the energy we saved was going to come through near the finish. Taylor (Phinney) and Michi (Schär) were ridiculously strong at the end."
Team BMC Racing assistant director Jackson Stewart claimed specific practice for the team time trial during last month's training camp in Spain paved the way for today's success.
"We had our rotations down and I thought we did everything perfectly," he described. "We only lost Steve Cummings, Adam Blythe and Yannick Eijssen at the end. They really sold out. Then Taylor (Phinney) made an incredible pull for the last 800 meters that kept the speed incredibly high."
In the overall rankings Bookwalter is now tailed by teammates Phinney and Blythe, 6 and 10 seconds behind Bookwalter respectively.
Tomorrow's stage 3 of the 2013 Tour of Qatar is a 143 kilometer stretch from Al Wakra to Masaieed.