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"When we passed the last lap, I though we had a good chance to go to the finish. But then we got caught at 500 meters to go. If you have 10 seconds more, you make it," Burghardt says

Photo: Sirotti








14.02.2014 @ 21:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcus Burghardt (BMC) was part of a strong breakaway that almost made the surprise in the final sprint stage of the Tour of Qatar. With 500m to go, however, it was over for the German classics specialist, opening the door for young teammates Silvan Dillier and Sebastian Lander to sprint into the top 10.


BMC Racing Team's Silvan Dillier finished sixth and Sebastian Lander was ninth in the final stage of the Tour of Qatar Friday after teammate Marcus Burghardt was part of a five-man breakaway that was only caught in the final 500 meters.  Burghardt and the four others – Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), Rafai Chtioui (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team), Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) and Lieuwe Westra (Astana Pro Team) – broke away early in the 113.5-kilometer race.


Burghardt said they had a strategy to ride steady until the race reached the finishing circuit in Doha Corniche.


"It was all headwind to the beginning of the circuit, so I said to the guys we had to take it a little easy," he said. "Then with six laps to go, we had to go really hard."


A gap that had been 48 seconds increased to two minutes and was still a minute with 10 kilometers to go.


"When we passed the last lap, I though we had a good chance to go to the finish," Burghardt said. "But then we got caught at 500 meters to go. If you have 10 seconds more, you make it."


 As the pack swept up Burghardt's group, BMC Racing Team's Danilo Wyss and Dillier were the last two to lead out Lander in the sprint that stretched across all three lanes of the wide road. Dillier said he played his sprint off another team's train.


"At the last moment, I found Lander again and saw how Saxo-Tinkoff was starting to launch their sprinter," he said, "so I jumped on their wheel and we did the sprint from there. I was a little bit surprised with how far we went. With 300 meters to go, I was in fourth, so I was surprised about this. With the sixth place, I am really happy."

Sport Director Valerio Piva said he was pleased to see two of the BMC Racing Team's youngest riders in such strong company. Arnaud Démarre ( took the win ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky). Tom Boonen, who won two stages this week, finished fourth and Sebastian Haedo (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team) was fifth.


"I am happy that two young guys got in the top 10," Piva said. "That is the future of the team. We need to do more this season to give chances to these guys. Then I think we will have something back."


Niki Terpstra, who won the race's opening stage, took the overall title by 17 seconds ahead of his teammate Boonen. Philippe Gilbert, in 13th place at 1:33 behind, was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher overall.


For Lander, the former Danish national road champion, it was his first top 10 finish since joining the BMC Racing Team at the beginning of last season.


"This is a team with a lot of stars, so when you finally get your chance, you really need to take it," he said. "So of course, I was excited and really wanted to do a good job today. All the guys were helping me today, which was really nice."



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