Blythe seventh on stage 2 of Tour of QatarMon 9 Feb 2015
ORICA-GreenEDGE debutant Adam Blythe has finished seventh in a select bunch sprint following an action-packed stage two of the Tour of Qatar.
For the second day running Blythe rode himself into good position at the pointy end of racing, today able to contest the sprint after a mechanical eliminated his chances yesterday.
The 25-year-old finished mid-pack in the lead group of 15 riders that contained some big-named speedsters. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) was too strong for stage victory.
“From the very beginning, it was a really nervous stage,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said. “The team did a good job and was always in a good position when splits happened.”
“Adam did a great job and with a bit luck we also had Jens Keukeleire in that front group before he suffered a puncture just after that final split was made.
“After yesterday’s mechanical problem in the last three kilometres, we talked with the commissaire and they promised to give back the 33seconds Adam lost yesterday. He now sits 10seconds off the overall lead.”
Windy and sandy conditions didn’t deter an aggressive peloton on day two, with early racing averaging well over 50kmph.
The race was in pieces shortly after the start as teams began to battle for control of the stage. As echelons took over the peloton, six riders escaped off the front with ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Mathew Hayman amongst them.
As the race regrouped behind, the leader’s stint out the front was ended by the 123km mark. Bit by bit riders were ridden off the front group and the race once again shattered into pieces, before the strongest 15 remained to see out the battle for stage victory.
“We discussed in the team meeting that we wanted to race aggressively and not wait for other teams to control proceedings,” Lapage explained. “It was pleasing to see that being executed throughout today’s stage.”