André Greipel put yesterday’s narrow defeat behind him, by beating Aidis Kruopis in a sprint finish in stage 5 of the 2014 Tour of Qatar today.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s winner, Tom Boonen, found himself boxed in and unable to contest the sprint. The Belgian rider crossed the finish in eighth place, behind his teammate Niki Terpstra – who continues the lead the race.
Today’s 159 kilometer stage from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Ash-Shamal saw an early breakaway group containing Stijn Devolder, Vladimir Isaychev, Daniel Schorn and Patrick Gretsch take form early on. However, the quartet was never allowed to establish more than a six minute lead over the peloton.
As the race moved into the final lap of the finishing circuit, the four escapees had all but been caught by the peloton – with a slight gap of just 30 seconds still remaining. And, by the 7 kilometer mark, they had been completely reeled in.
With six kilometers remaining, teams began ushering their sprinters to the front. At that point, fracturing began to occur throughout the peloton – with only the strongest riders able to stay at the front.
Greipel was the first to open up the sprint. And, once again, the lead group buckled under the domination of the German powerhouse.
Top 10 Finishers
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 2 Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica Greenedge 3 Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 5 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling 6 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol 7 Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp-Endura 8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 9 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 10 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
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