Tour of Qatar – Wiggins 3rd in TT


World time trial champion Bradley Wiggins 3rd in Qatar race against the watch, Nikki Terpstra wins and now leads overall

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Tour of Qatar – Wiggins 3rd in TT

In extremely windy conditions, Niki Terpstra surprised the field of specialists to clock the fastest time on the day’s stage 3 individual time-trial.


Photo: Etixx – Quick-Step/ Tim De Waele

The victory is a bit of a surprise,” Terpstra said. “I was just going for a good time trial to move up in the classification. But it went so well I ended up with the stage win as well. At the beginning I wasn’t going full gas to save some energy for when I turned into the headwind.”

“Then my Sport Director Wilfried Peeters was pushing me faster and faster until I was giving everything. I kept the speed until the finish line and I am now back in the Gold jersey as race leader. If you see the guys that are riding here, it is a really strong peloton with some time trial specialists such as Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins”.

“So, it’s awesome to get a victory with such big competition. Now the goal is to keep the Gold jersey. First, I’m going to enjoy this win this evening with my teammates, and then we will plan for the next days.”

“I have to pay attention all the time because with this race, if you lose focus for even a second and miss a move in the wind, and you are in the second group, your leadership is over. I had a good winter, the shape is good, and I am really happy with this result. I hope I can still improve in the months leading into the Classics, but I showed today I am going in the right direction.”


Photo: ASO

Race report
On the 10.9kms course designed around the Lusail circuit and sports complex, the Dutchman managed to beat Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins. Terpstra captures the overall leader’s Golden Jersey and is on task to retain his title.

After yesterday’s hectic stage that saw Alexander Kristoff conquer his first stage win in Qatar and the Golden Jersey, it was time for a totally different exercice. The wind however was just as vicious, it was even stronger than on the previous day with sand sweeping across the roads of the 10.9kms circuit.

The first man to clock a fast time was Lars Boom (AST) who had finished second in the same time-trial a year ago. But his time of 14’33 would be beaten by the former hour record holder Mathias Brandle (IAM) in 14’21.

Then came the UCI World time-trial champion: Bradley Wiggins (SKY). After clocking the fastest time at the halfway mark, the Brit went on to conquer top spot in 14’12. At least for a short time. Wiggins would finally have to settle for third spot overall though.

Two managed to do better. First of all, former TT World Champion Fabian Cancellara (TFR) whose time of 14’11 looked good enough to give him his first success this year. Eventually though, Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra (EQS) went on to smash that best time. The Dutchman clocked an impressive 14’03 that gave him his second stage victory on qatari soil.

While the last man on the course, Golden Jersey Alexander Kristoff (KAT) eventually finished 26th, 44 seconds adrift, the Tour of Qatar changed leader as Terpstra conquered the overall lead in impressive fashion.

The 2014 champion now has an 11 seconds advantage over Maciej Bodnar (TCS) and 12” over Ian Stannard (SKY). The Silver jersey (points classification) remains on the shoulders of Tom Boonen while Luke Rowe who finished 15th today holds the White Pearl Jersey for the best young rider in 5th overall.

Luke Rowe – White Jersey

Bradley Wiggins in the rainbow stripes

“It was very difficult, and on road bikes to get comfortable at that power. It’s not something you’re used to. It was different for everyone, but you still see the same names at the top,” Wiggins told Gregor Brown of VeloNews. “You don’t know how everybody else will do. I’ve seen Fabian here a few times before, and sometimes he’s been in the last group, then on other days he’s on fire like he was today. What did I learn? Nothing really. Unfortunately, the world of cycling puts a massive emphasis on this race, but everybody’s at different stages of preparation,” said Wiggins

Adam Blythe

Fabian Cancellera

“Of course somehow it’s a pity to be second,” said Fabian Cancellara on his team’s website “but eight seconds? It’s a lot. I think Bradley and I went 100%, I mean like everyone else, but it was still a little bit of a surprising gap, actually. That is almost one second per kilometer. But in the end, that’s racing; that’s the time trial. I did my best, I gave all I could, and when I do that I can say I am happy.”

“Once again it was windy, hard, intense…” said Canceallara. “Yesterday was a pity and a day to forget. Qatar is sometimes like this, one day you’re there, one day you’re not. For me [the time trial] was important to see where I stand, and I can say that I am happy about where I am. As for the result, I can put that away, but with my effort, where my condition is, that is something that will motivate me for the next days.”

“I think I can be happy with my power numbers from today,” he added. “It’s okay like this. It was the first real intense, short effort of the season and it’s definitely not easy with this wind, the sand, the heat…I am coming from -10 to almost 35 degrees (Celsius). And to go on the level I want to go all these things make a difference in order to perform well.”

“Somehow, I am getting older, too, and one day will come when I will stop. When you’re younger you think less, and have less to do. I am older so maybe that’s the reason why; when you’re older everything is a little more difficult. So that’s it for today, move on to tomorrow and look forward to another session of intensity, probably.”

1. Niki Terpstra, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:14:04
2. Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing 0:00:08
3. Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky 0:00:09
4. Maciej Bodnar, Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Ian Stannard, Team Sky 0:00:10
6. Matthias Brandle, IAM Cycling 0:00:18
7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:20
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen, MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:21
9. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team 0:00:24
10. Reto Hollenstein, IAM Cycling 0:00:25

15. Luke Rowe,Team Sky 0:00:31
19. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team 0:00:38
30. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
31. Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team 0:00:47
33. Tom Boonen, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:49
57. Marcel Kittel, Team Giant-Alpecin 1.01
97. Zakkari Dempster, Bora-Argon 18 1.32
102. Adam Blythe, Orica GreenEdge 0:01:37
113. Andrew Fenn,) Team Sky 1.47

1. Niki Terpstra, Etixx – Quick-Step 7:53:42
2. Maciej Bodnar, Tinkoff-Saxo @ 11
3. Ian Stannard, Team Sky @ 12
4. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team @ 19
5. Luke Rowe, Team Sky @ 33
6. Alexander Kristoff, Team Katusha @ 36
7. Tom Boonen, Etixx – Quick-Step @ 42
8. Heinrich Haussler, IAM Cycling @ 44
9. Andriy Grivko, Astana Pro Team @ 46
10. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo @ 48

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