Van Avermaet Secures Podium Place at Tour of Qatar12. February 2016, Doha, Qatar — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet has secured his first podium place for 2016, finishing third overall at the Tour of Qatar behind Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
Manuel Quinziato finished in fourth in the General Classification and Michael Schär in tenth, setting BMC Racing Team up to take out the Team Classification.
Van Avermaet started the day in second, and Quinziato in third, before bonus seconds gained in the final sprint, won by Kristoff, rearranged the final GC order.
It is a good way to start the season, Van Avermaet said.
“I’m happy with the week here in Qatar. I like this kind of racing. It’s always a big fight to be in position and be up there, and I think it’s really good preparation for the Classics and the rest of the season. You do a lot of speed work here, and at every corner you have to be up there.”
“The team did a great job here working together and making sure I was in the right position. I really have to credit their efforts here and it shows that our work together in the off-season at the training camps has paid off.”
“Now I’m off to Oman where it is a little bit hillier and a bit more relaxed. Every day here it is stressful with the winds and the speed. There are a lot of stages for me in Oman, and probably some sprints better suited to me.”
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato is satisfied with the team’s performance at the five-stage race.
“We were of course still trying to win the race as we went into the final stage today, and to keep Manuel on the podium. It was a strange final stage with strong head and tail winds, so it was hard for the team to make the race really difficult, like we like to do. I’m really satisfied with the performance by all of the team. All of the guys were working well together everyday.”
Baldato is confident heading into the Tour of Oman where the same team will be joined by Richie Porte.
“The guys are in good shape for the Tour of Oman. Greg is going well and I think Oman is a better race for him and Richie Porte is also on the way over from Australia to join the team. I would like to win a stage with Greg.”
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