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BMC Racing, Bookwalter win Qatar stage 2, defend lead

BMC Racing won the stage 2 team time trial at the Tour of Qatar on Monday, defending overnight leader Brent Bookwalter’s golden leader’s jersey.

Mark Cavendish and Omega Pharma-Quick Step led into the final three teams after setting a time of 16:17, but Sky started second-to-last and displaced Omega Pharma at the line, logging a time of 16:11 for the 14km test.

It was BMC Racing, however, that owned the day, with Taylor Phinney pulling hard to the line for a 16:07.

“You felt everyone of those 14km like it was 20,” said Bookwalter. “The team was just incredible. I’m beside myself… I think it was all for one, one for all today.”

Bookwalter leads teammates Phinney by six seconds and Adam Blythe by 10 seconds in the general classification.

“[Phinney] really led us well today, not just with his pulls but with his leadership,” said Bookwalter. “We’re going to enjoy today; it’s a big team effort, and we’ll come back out to do it again.”

The Tour of Qatar continues Tuesday with the 143km third stage from Al Wakra to Mesaieed.