Patrick Bevin’s World Tour campaign continues in the Abu Dhabi Tour, with the 27 year old looking to build on what has already been a strong year for the team at the Santos Tour Down Under.
Bevin’s third race in BMC Racing colours has taken him to the Abu Dhabi Tour, a race and a region he’s been unfamiliar with until now. “Personally I’m really happy to be here, it’s my first time racing in the Middle East,” Patrick Bevin said to Aaron S. Lee. “I’m looking forward to the few days ahead.”
The first stage was a promising one for Bevin, who took 18th in the sprint finish just ahead of compatriot Alex Frame of Trek-Segafredo, while Alexander Kristoff came away with the win. The Abu Dhabi Tour sees him teaming up with Aussies Miles Scotson and Rohan Dennis, Americans Brent Bookwalter and Joey Rosskopf, Italian Damiano Caruso who was in stage 1’s breakaway, and Swiss rider Kilian Frankiny.
Looking beyond Abu Dhabi though, Bevin’s time in the Middle East is something that he hopes will build toward a grand tour outing in 2018. Bevin’s first outing came somewhat unexpectedly last year when he was selected almost last minute for the Tour de France, only receiving the call up after his Tour de Suisse performance. This time around with a bit more targeted preparation and some time to get ready, he hopes for a strong start to the opening 3 week race of the season against the clock.
“For the early part of the season I’m looking towards the Giro, particularly the opening time trial, and then doing what I can for the team throughout another three week race; obviously I got around the Tour last year, my first grand tour,” Patrick said. “But before then I go from here and I’ve got a great race programme coming up through Catalunya and a couple of the Ardennes races.”
Having his focus on the Giro d’Italia along with the Ardennes Classics and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya has meant that Bevin ruled himself out of the New Zealand team for the Commonwealth Games early along with a number of other World Tour riders. Timing was the big factor ruling Bevin out of the race, a race that he’ll be sad to miss.
“It comes at a bad time for me with my programme for those couple of Ardennes classics and then the Giro; and I wasn’t going to put my hand up with a maybe and then pull out last minute I don’t think that’s fair on anyone; so I scrubbed my name early,” Bevin explained.
“It’s always disappointing when you turn down the opportunity to represent your country, I know for a lot of the European guys they don’t understand how important the Commonwealth Games is to countries in the Commonwealth. It’s disappointing to miss it, but I trade that off for five or six other big, big races during that period.”