Hushovd on Dubai Tour: “If I can win a race at the beginning of the year, it takes the pressure off”
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Hushovd on Dubai Tour: “If I can win a race at the beginning of the year, it takes the pressure off”

by VeloNation Press at 9:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
BMC Racing Team rider ambitious heading towards new RCS Sport event, Phinney a favourite for opening TT

Thor HushovdPast world road race champion Thor Hushovd has a simple goal starting his 2014 season: hitting the top step of the podium as soon as possible. The Norwegian national title holder is making his debut in the four stage Dubai Tour, which begins on Wednesday, and is aiming for success.

“I want to see how my form starts,” he said, having using a recent BMC Racing Team training camp in Spain to hone his form in advance of flying to Dubai.

“If I can win a nice race at the beginning of the year, it's good and takes a bit of the pressure off.”

Directeur sportif Max Sciandri said that he hopes that others in the team also shine, but that it is hard to make predictions as the race is so early in the year.

“Nobody really knows what to expect but we go there with high objectives,” he stated. “We want to target the time trial with Taylor Phinney, without forgetting we also have Steve Cummings, Thor Hushovd and Peter Velits.

“We also have Thor for the sprints and Taylor has been trying himself in those, too, I saw at the Tour de San Luis.”

Phinney made his own season debut in the aforementioned Argentinean race and finished second in the time trial there. He was beaten by Movistar’s Adriano Malori, but felt that he lost time due to not having a big enough gear on his bike, and having to freewheel on some of the downhill sections. There was a gap of just three seconds between first and third place.

He will be keen to make up for that and will see the opening ten kilometre time trial in Dubai as presenting opportunity.

Another rider who is strong against the clock is Velits, who is the national TT champion for Slovakia. He is riding his first race ever for the BMC Racing Team, having moved across from Omega Pharma Quick step, but doesn’t want to make specific predictions.

“The stages seem to be flat, so the time trial will be very important for the GC contenders,” he said. “I can't really say how I will do because the first races in my case are always very unsure.

“I will try my best and be helpful for the team. I feel very good in the team and there's always a good mood, which is important.”

The Dubai Tour begins with the so-called Down Town stage, that ten kilometre time trial. Stage two is entitled the Sport Stage, runs 122 kilometres, and passes some of the best-known sports buildings in Dubai such as the Hippodrome, the Olympic pool, the Al Qudra cycling path, the Autodrome and the Golf Club.

The following day’s Nature Stage is the longest at 162 kilometres. It extends through the desert and finishes in Hatta. The last day of racing brings a 124 kilometre Old Dubai Stage, beginning at the Dubai World Trade Centre, moving through the old part of the city and passing the famous Burj Al Arab building and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.

BMC Racing Team for the Dubai Tour (February 5-8)

Steve Cummings (GBR)
Yannick Eijssen (BEL)
Thor Hushovd (NOR)
Sebastian Lander (DEN)
Klaas Lodewyck (BEL)
Taylor Phinney (USA)
Peter Velits (SVK)
Rick Zabel (GER)


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