Brent Bookwalter will enter Paris-Nice Sunday as a potential leader for his BMC Racing squad. American teammate Taylor Phinney will miss his planned start after crashing in training a week ago.
Director John Lelangue said Thursday that his team will head to the Race to the Sun with four riders they expect to contend in the overall: Bookwalter, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito and Ivan Santaromita.
“It’s a pretty difficult course this year, so I think it will be a race of movement (on the GC) almost every day,” Lelangue said.
Bookwalter had his first taste of team leadership last week at the Giro di Sardegna. Already a finisher of two grand tours after his first full European season, he told VeloNews this week that it was a bit of a shock to realize he was one of the veteran riders in the team’s roster for the stage and one-day races on the Italian coastal island.
Moinard will enter his fifth Paris-Nice and said his win in the final stage last year (and King of the Mountains title) makes him a bit of a target. “This race can be a little complicated with wind, cold rain or even snow and it also being the first major stage race in Europe,” he said. “I’m pretty sure of my physical condition, so I’m confident about doing something good.”
Paris-Nice, March 6-13
- Brent Bookwalter (USA)
- Yannick Eijssen (BEL)
- Karsten Kroon (NED)
- Jeff Louder (USA)
- Amaël Moinard (FRA)
- Steve Morabito (SUI)
- Ivan Santaromita (ITA)
- Danilo Wyss (SUI)
- Directeur Sportif: John Lelangue (BEL)
- Assistant Directeur: Rik Verbrugghe (BEL)