Blythe fourth on stage 4 of Tour of QatarWed 11 Feb 2015
Briton Adam Blythe has continued his strong debut for ORICA-GreenEDGE, finishing fourth on stage four of the Tour of Qatar this afternoon.
The 165km Al Thakhira to Mesaieed stage was started an hour and ten minutes earlier than scheduled, with the peloton expected to hit strong head winds. When racing dropped from 50.2kmph in the first hour to just 31.9kmph in the second, the affects of the winds were obvious.
"Almost all day, except the first 40kms, we had head wind so almost everyone was still fresh at the end due to a slow race," sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.
"During the meeting yesterday we discussed to take the initiative in the last five kilometres and the guys did this which ment we were able to put Adam in the perfect position to do his sprint."
Three riders - Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana Pro Team), Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) and Jarl Salomein (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) – formed the breakaway of the day in the first 15km and survived until the final 20km.
From there, the focus was on the sprint teams as they battled to align their trains in position for the bunch kick. Team Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff took the honours, narrowly edging out Peter Sagan (Tinkoff – Saxo) for his second stage win of the 2015 Tour of Qatar.