BMC Racing comes out swinging in their debut Grand Tour
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

BMC Racing comes out swinging in their debut Grand Tour

by VeloNation Press at 10:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Cadel EvansThe BMC Racing team headed to the Giro d'Italia start in Amsterdam with a roster of mixed experience led by a reinvigorated World Champion in Cadel Evans.  The American outfit was forced to split their forces in order to put in a strong showing in their biggest race at home, the Tour of California.  The team began their debut Grand Tour today in fine fashion, managing to rack up second and third place in the opening prologue with Brent Bookwalter and Evans respectively.

Time trial specialist Bradley Wiggins took the win, but Bookwalter provided the biggest surprise of the day, beating Evans by a fraction of a second.  The BMC Racing duo ended up finishing on the same time, just two seconds off the Briton's winning ride.

"It was a fairly technical, short violent effort, which I think suits me well," Bookwalter said after the finish. "At least in the United States, I've always been pretty good in the five to 15 km distance. I'm not super tested at that distance over here. But I was motivated to do a good time for the team GC and also to do a good time so Cadel could get good time checks. It's really a pleasant surprise."

Bookwalter gave the world a glimpse of what he was capable of last year, when he beat US time trial champion David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) in the Tour of Utah prologue,  coincidentally, it was by 2 seconds.  He'll have a steep learning curve as he takes in his first Grand Tour, but his performance today will keep the morale up as he tries to help Evans trade in his rainbow stripes for the maglia rosa.

Evans was impressed with the 26 year old, and said he chose not to go full-gas through the wet city streets.  "I rode quite conservatively in the corners because I didn't expect to be fighting for the win," Evans explained. "Maybe if I had taken some risks, I might have cut a half a second off here or there. I'm really happy for Brent. It's a really good start for him and a great introduction into his first Grand Tour."

The Australian started the race as one of the big favorites after a strong early season with his new team.  With Wiggins bowing out of the overall to save himself for the Tour de France in July, Evans sits atop the leader board of those in contentions for overall victory.

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