Tour of Qatar Stage 1 Race Report8. February 2016, Doha, Qatar — Road Team
BMC Racing Team finished with two riders in the top ten in a tough opening stage of the Tour of Qatar, taken out by Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in a sprint finish.
The notorious winds of Qatar came into play today during the 180 kilometer stage, splitting the peloton into three groups from the 40 kilometer mark.
Greg Van Avermaet, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär made it in the lead group of 21 riders where they took control for much of the race and into the final kilometers.
The final sprint finish saw Van Avermaet cross the line in seventh place, followed by Quinziato in eighth.
For Van Avermaet it was a hard, but good day of racing to kick off his season.
“It was a typical Tour of Qatar stage. It was a really hard first day of racing, directly full gas from the start. I was pretty happy. We had four guys in the front and a strong team so I’m happy with how we went as I think we really controlled the race.
“We will see what the next days bring but I’m pretty confident that we will have some good next stages. It’s been a good day, I’m happy with my form and we’ll see how it goes.”
Van Avermaet sits in sixth place overall, 14 seconds behind Cavendish, and Quinziato in ninth at 15 seconds.
Stage 2 tomorrow sees the peloton race 135 kilometers, in what will be a test course for the 2016 World Road Race Championships to be held in Qatar later this year.
Unfortunate end to racing for Bohli
It was an unfortunate end to Tom Bohli’s Middle East racing program after crashing out around the 103 kilometer mark.
“Tom was involved in a big crash with other riders and was not able to continue racing. He was taken to hospital where X-Rays were performed to determine if any injuries were sustained. At this stage we have no further updates on his condition,” BMC Racing Team Doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria said.
BMC Racing Team will provide an update on Bohli when more information is available.
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