Motivated And Experienced Roster
The six-day race through flat, desert terrain begins Sunday and includes a 10.9-kilometer individual time trial on Stage 3. With strong winds likely, Piva said experience and strength will be crucial. Four riders on the BMC Racing Team’s eight-man roster – Marcus Burghardt, Philippe Gilbert, Swiss road champion Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet – have previously finished in the top 10 overall, with Van Avermaet winning a stage in 2007. “I know if we have a windy race, we have a strong team,” Piva said. “For me, it is very important that we have good training for the classics and see the team working together. We may not have a true sprinter, but if the race is in pieces after an attack, our guys are strong and motivated and we will try to make the difference as a team.” Piva said Danilo Wyss and Gilbert will be the team’s designated sprinters while Tour of Alberta stage winner Silvan Dillier is also one to watch. Gilbert said he enjoyed a smooth off-season of training, unlike his lead-up to 2013, when he was often sidetracked by the responsibilities of being the world road champion. “I had a good winter and I feel very motivated to start the new season,” Gilbert said. “I worked hard and was really focused on what I did and what was most important, which was training and rest.”
Download the BMC Racing Team Roster Card (PDF with line-up, stats, bios, etc.):
BMC Racing Team Tour of Qatar Roster (Feb. 9-14):
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Martin Kohler (SUI), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Valerio Piva (ITA)
Roger Palfreeman (GBR)
Mechanics: Aaron Fairley (USA), Kevin Grove (USA). Press Officer: Sean Weide (USA). Soigneurs: David Bombeke (BEL), Dirk Leenaert (BEL), Marc Paeme (BEL), Stefano Rubino (ITA).