In His Own Words: Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage on Tour of Qatar TTT

Tue 5 Feb 2013

ORICA-GreenEDGE slotted into eighth place on the stage two team time trial at the Tour of Qatar. The team covered the 14 kilometre out-and-back course in 16:30, 23 seconds down on the fastest time set by BMC. In his own words, Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage describes the day.

We had a strong start today. If you look at the results, you’ll see that we posted the third fastest time at the half-way point of the time trial. We unravelled a bit during the second half when our numbers dwindled.

We started the day as a team of seven after we lost Sam Bewley before the race began. He developed some sort of stomach flu the night before stage one. In the second half of our effort, we lost Brett Lancaster to breathing issues and Allan Davis fell off the pace, too. We were down to five riders at that point, and a team’s time is determined by the fifth rider across the line. We had to be careful to stay together until the finish after we lost Lancaster and Davis.

After seeing the complete results including the intermediate times, it’s normal to feel a bit disappointed with our place. We really missed Sam today, and if Brett was feeling better and Sam was with us, we could have been in contention for a top three finish on the stage.

I have been told that people on Twitter have been asking why we raced on our road bikes today. For the races in Qatar and Oman, the rules are a bit different. Because of the logistics around the extra costs to travel to the Middle East, we are only allowed to bring our normal road bikes that we use during any other road race. Any sort of modifications to the road bikes (time trial bars, disc wheels, etc.) are not allowed.

While I wish we could have done something more today, we did what we could with what we had. We’ll continue to work for a stage win with Aidis Kruopis over the next four days of racing.