Tour of Qatar Stage 1: BMC's Brent Bookwalter keeps ahead of chasing bunch to win

Main group just fails to make catch - Bernie leads it home in fourth place, two ahead of ex-room mate Cav

by Simon_MacMichael   February 3, 2013  

Tour of Qatar 2013 logo

Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing has won the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar. The American got clear with Martin Elmiger of IAM and RadioShack-Leopard’s Gregory Rast with 10km to go and proved strongest in the finale. The trio just held off a chasing bunch including Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, who finished sixth – two places behind close friend and former room mate Bernie Eisel of Sky, who led the bunch home.

With crosswinds causing echelons to form, making the peloton split into three groups on the 145 kilometre stage from the Katara Cultural Village in Doha to Dukhan Beach, Eisel himself had launched an attack at the head of the race with a little over 20 kilometres to ride, Roy Curvers of Argos-Shimano, BMC Racing’s Michael Schär and Domique Rollin of FDJ going with him.

The quartet were sucked back into the front bunch with 12 kilometres to go, and shortly afterwards the trio who eventually contested the win went off the front and rode hard to quickly established a gap of three quarters of a minute. By now, what had been the second group on the road had joined the chasing bunch, including Cavendish who worked hard alongside his Omega Pharma-Quick Step colleagues to help bridge the gap.

With the gap from the three riders out in front still more than half a minute with 5 kilometres to go it was touch and go whether the main group had left it too late to catch the break – no race radios here, although the topography meant they were in sight for most of the time – and so it proved as Bookwalter led Elmiger across the line, with their pursuers breathing down their necks but just unable to make the catch.

Tour of Qatar Stage 1 result

1 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team 3:28:47
2 ELMIGER Martin IAM Cycling “
3 RAST Gregory RadioShack -Trek “
4 EISEL Bernhard Sky Procycling “
5 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale Pro Cycling “
6 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma -Quick Step “
7 BRESCHEL Matti Saxo-Tinkoff “
8 PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team “
9 HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM Cycling “
10 LADAGNOUS Matthieu FDJ “

3 user comments

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Was it just me or did it seem like the finish line took everyone by surprise?
They came round the last corner and all of a sudden it was there.
I wasnt really concentrating myself really if im honest though - the spellbinding scenery and huge, passionate crowds distracted me.
Sleepy

posted by Some Fella [718 posts]
3rd February 2013 - 15:23

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Watch the last 5km here

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
3rd February 2013 - 15:30

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look at the massive crowds! Cool

woodrz's picture

posted by woodrz [5 posts]
4th February 2013 - 8:22

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