Last season Brent Bookwalter was left off the BMC Tour de France roster. He’s ridden the previous two editions of Le Grand Shindig for his captain Cadel Evans but didn’t make the final cut.
On Bookwalter’s twitter feed, he repeated the cliche of being handed sour lemons and making lemonade out of them. It took him awhile but Bookwalter is making plenty of lemonade down in Qatar.
First, an opportunistic win in stage one saw him beat out Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Gregory Rast (RadioShack Leopard.) Then in the stage two team trial Bookwalter and his turbo-powered teammate Taylor Phinney ripped across 14 kilometers of desert and knocked Sky out of first place by five seconds.
A man gets thirty in the desert and a few glasses of cold lemonade sure taste good. That and champagne and a few podium girls. In fact, Bookwalter has a full lemonade stand set up in the streets of Doha. This makes two days in the golden jersey for the American. (Even famed Arabian cycling journalist Abdul Al Salaam was impressed.)
Bookwalter is one of those eternally optimistic bike racers like Timmy Duggan who work hard for the team, never get down and when free to ride their own race, they’re capable of delivering something big. It’s been a while of Bookwalter — not since his second place to Bradley Wiggins in the opening prologue of the Giro D’Italia back in 2009.
Bookwalter likes the new jersey but thinks it should be an XXXL. “It’s just not me who is wearing the leader’s jersey, I feel like it’s the whole team,” he said.. “Those guys made it happen today and I’m just honored to be the one wearing it.”
Tomorrow’s stage three travels 143km from Al Wakra to Mesaieed. Perhaps Bookwalter still has a little lemonade left.