excerpts from Tour of Qatar
Terpstra back in gold
In extremely windy conditions, Niki Terpstra surprised the field of specialists to clock the fastest time of the day’s stage 3 individual time-trial. On the 10.9kms course designed around the Lusail circuit and sports complex, the Dutchman managed to beat Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins. Terpstra captures the overall leader’s Golden Jersey and is on task to retain his title.
After yesterday’s hectic stage that saw Alexander Kristoff conquer his first stage win in Qatar and the Golden Jersey, it was time for a totally different exercice. The wind however was just as vicious, it was even stronger than on the previous day with sand sweeping across the roads of the 10.9kms circuit.
The first man to clock a fast time was Lars Boom (AST) who had finished second of the same time-trial a year ago. But his time of 14’33 would be beaten by the former hour record holder Mathias Brandle (IAM) in 14’21.
Then came the UCI World time-trial champion: Bradley Wiggins (SKY). After clocking the fastest time at the halfway mark, the Brit went on to conquer top spot in 14’12. At least for the time being. Wiggins would finally have to settle for third spot overall. Indeed two men managed to do better. First of all, Fabian Cancellara (TFR) whose time of 14’11 looked good enough to give him his first success this year. Eventually, Niki Terpstra (EQS) went on to smash that best time. The Dutchman clocked an impressive 14’03 that gave him his second stage victory on qatari soil.
While the last man on the course, Golden Jersey Alexander Kristoff (KAT) eventually finished 26th, 44” adrift, the Tour of Qatar changed leader as Terpstra conquered the overall lead in impressive fashion. The 2014 champion now has an 11” advantage over Maciej Bodnar (TCS) and 12” over Ian Stannard (SKY). The Silver jersey (points classification) remains on the shoulders of Tom Boonen while Luke Rowe who finished at a great 15th spot today conquers the White Pearl Jersey for the best young rider.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:14:04
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:08
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:09
4 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:10
6 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:00:18
7 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:20
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:21
9 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24
10 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:25
General classification after stage 3
1 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step 7:53:42
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:11
3 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:19
5 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:33
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:36
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:42
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling 0:00:44
9 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:46
10 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:48
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