Burghardt makes BMC team happy in Qatar
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Burghardt makes BMC team happy in Qatar

by Bjorn Haake at 1:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

The American BMC racing team had a good opening to the season, with Marcus Burghardt ending the week-long race in fifth place overall. A strong team effort protected Burghardt's high ranking. Up-and-coming John Murphy finished tenth in the bunch sprint.

Burghardt praised his teammates. "The whole team did a good job of helping me hang on the past four days," Burghardt said. "They always made sure I was in the first group and out of the wind in a good position." Burghardt added that the high speeds of the six-day race made for good training for the classics. "To keep a good position, you always had to keep an eye out and always be focused on the race," the German said. "It's good that we know to stay together the whole race so I think we're very well prepared for the classics."

Burghardt's placing could have been threatened by Danilo Napolitano in the intermediate sprints, as only four seconds separated the two. But for the second time in two days, Martin Kohler went in to the break and made sure the bonus seconds were snatched up before Napolitano could reach them.

Kohler is becoming the team's breakaway specialist, having already raced quite actively at the Tour Down Under. "We wanted to create an early breakaway to prevent him [Napolitano] from winning the two bonus sprints. Finishing top five is a lot different than placing sixth when you announce it," sports director John Lelangue said.

The good day was rounded out by Murphy's sprint into the top ten. That result is a sign of things to come for the reigning U.S. national criterium champion, according to Lelangue. "A top 10 here without a formal lead-out is a good thing for him," Lelangue said. "John was really fast in the last kilometer and even faster in the final 500 meters. He was really strong all week so we'll see in the future of what he can do." 

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