A five rider breakaway contested the first stage of the Tour of Qatar. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) crossed the finish line first, 1” before Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) in second and Michael Schär (BMC) in third. The peloton followed 7” behind Terpstra with Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) winning the sprint for sixth place. Aidis Kruopis was our top finisher on stage one, sixth in the bunch kick, good for 12th place on the stage.
The first stage was the usual wind-swept Qatari affair. With several teams pushing the pace, the peloton shattered and five distinct groups took shape. Eventually three of the groups merged, leaving two groups out on the road when Terpstra and company slipped up the road.
With Kruopis, Jens Mouris, Mathew Hayman, Brett Lancaster and Leigh Howard amongst the first main bunch, ORICA-GreenEDGE gave chase. Although the team’s efforts slowly ate into the leader’s advantage, they needed help from other teams to shut down the move. While Team Sky, Belkin and Tinkoff-Saxo eventually began to chase, it was too little, too late. The break managed to evade the field all the way to the line in Dukhan Beach.
"We assumed responsibility for the chase when the five leaders that broke away late in the race had gained 25”. We had the idea that some other team would come up tto help but that didn’t happen. Once we decided to stop doing all the work on our own, we knew that the breakaway, with so many strong riders, had a big chane to stay away. This was the same scenario as last year." - Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage
|1||Niki Terpstra (Ned) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||3:13:42|
|2||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) - Lotto Belisol||0:00:01|
|3||Michael Schär (Swi) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|4||Martin Elmiger (Swi) - IAM Cycling||ST|
|5||Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||0:00:07|
|6||Tom Boonen (Bel) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||ST|
|7||Barry Markus (Ned) - Belkin-Pro Cycling Team||ST|
|8||Arnaud Demare (Fra) - Fdj.fr||ST|
|9||Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) - Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise||ST|
|10||Marcel Sieberg (Ger) - Lotto Belisol||ST|
|12||Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|25||Jens Mouris (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|28||Mathew Hayman (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|67||Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:07|
|69||Leigh Howard (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:01:47|
|75||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:02:24|
|95||Svein Tuft (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:10:19|
|141||Michael Hepburn (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE|