Kruopis Sprints to Eighth on Stage Four of Tour Of QatarThu 7 Feb 2013
Aidis Kruopis sprinted to 8th place on stage four of the Tour of Qatar. A crash within the final kilometre impacted the final sprint, which was again won by Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). The ORICA-GreenEDGE team worked well to be in a good position for the sprint. Below Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage describes how the day unfolded.
The early part of the stage saw three riders go in the early kilometres. The break collected all the bonus seconds at the sprint points. Usually in Qatar there are strong crosswinds. “Today there was no wind so I knew it would be almost impossible for the leaders to stay away” said Lapage.
With 30 kilometres to go the break had an advantage of five minutes. At this point the teams of the sprinters contributed at least one rider to bring it back. “I sent Allan Davis to the front to help with the chase” noted Lapage. With all the teams working well together the break was caught with eight kilometres to go.
”After a day like today more riders are fresh and that makes it difficult to organise a lead out” Lapage noted. “The team did a good job and brought Aidis to the front at the right time”. With riders preparing to open up their sprints Aidis was boxed in and unable to open up his own. Aidis sprinted to 8th place.
Overall Lapage said he was happy with the way the team rode. “They all did what they had to do as we discussed in the team meeting this morning.”
As the team was riding back to the hotel after completing the stage Jens Mouris and Baden Cooke were involved in a minor crash. Lapage noted “both riders seem to be ok.”
Going forward the team will continue to hope for a stage win with Kruopis.