Blythe again in top five at Tour of QatarThu 12 Feb 2015
Debutant Adam Blythe has delivered another top five finish in his first race for ORICA-GreenEDGE, taking fifth place on stage five of the Tour of Qatar.
A reduced sprint saw a mirror finish of yesterday, Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) slightly edging out Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) for victory after another aggressive and edgy day on the road.
“For the moment guys like Kristoff and Sagan are too strong but Adam continues to show us he's coming up to his best condition,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.
Day five featured more of the famous Qatarian echelons, as the now regularly referred to ‘agitated’ peloton made their way on the 153km journey from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.
Pleasingly for Lapage, Blythe continues to position himself at the right place at the right time in order to contest each of the sprint finishes.
“Our meetings here talk about the dangerous points during the course and I specifically asked to watch out that Adam was always in a good position,” Lapage said. “He’s our weapon to get a result at the finish and so far he has made all of the right decisions.”
The peloton split into pieces almost instantaneously once the flag was dropped to signify the official start to racing on stage five. Three major groups Iittered the road, the first with approximately 55 riders.
Again the pace was on from the outset, almost 50km covered in the first hour of racing as riders in the first group were tested, 37 surviving up front.
After 63km of racing, the second group managed to tack onto the first and in a momentary lack of intensity ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Mathew Hayman snuck off the front in his second breakaway for the Tour.
Hayman’s five-man group extended to a maximum advantage of two minutes 30seconds before a frantic chase put a close to their hopes with 15km remaining.
In the final five kilometres a group of ten riders distanced themselves to set up the selective finish.
Leigh Howard suffered in a crash mid-stage and withdrew from the race. Latest assessments have signified he has not suffered any fractures or major injuries.
Tomorrow’s final stage from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche is the shortest road stage of the Tour at 113km.