McGee says Saxo Bank is ready to make its move in Qatar
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

McGee says Saxo Bank is ready to make its move in Qatar

by Conal Andrews at 1:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar

Yesterday’s upheaval at the Tour of Qatar saw many riders and teams drop out of contention when the peloton blew apart, including overnight race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky). Fierce racing in crosswinds brought about an important selection and, when the dust and sand settled, only a handful of riders remain in contention.

One of those is Saxo Bank’s Stuart O’Grady, who finished two minutes 37 seconds behind Geert Steurs (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) in 15th place. He ended the day eighth overall, two minutes and 40 seconds behind Steurs' breakaway companion Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team); crucially, though, all riders from third place back are at least two minutes and two seconds behind Mol, meaning that the Dutchman is going to come under fierce attack. The race is certainly not over.

O’Grady’s directeur sportif Bradley McGee promises that his team will be ready to jump into action. With O’Grady, Baden Cooke, JJ Haedo and Matti Breschel all being strong sprinters, the team has four options for the finale. They will be backed up by Frank Hoj, world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, Sebastian Haedo and Dominic Klemme.

"There is fair bit of fire power here and it will be up to the guys on how much they will open it up," McGee stated. "I think it will come down more to opportunity; if there is an opportunity, then we will jump on it.

"We have a plan ready. We will communicate during the race and fall into a sprint plan after making a decision on the road."

The Saxo Bank squad was third in the opening time trial, conceding just 13 seconds to Team Sky.

The Tour of Qatar continues today with a 136.5km race from Dukhan to Mesaieed, and runs until Friday. The riders will then travel on to the new Tour of Oman, which is more mountainous.


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