Tour of Qatar: Stage 3


Tour of Britain winner Edvald Boasson Hagen wins Tour of Qatar time trial to take the lead on GC just ahead of teammate Mark Cavendish

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Tour of Qatar: Stage 3

The Tour of Qatar has a new boss. Thanks to his outstanding performance on the day’s 11.4-km time-trial, Edvald Boasson Hagen not only captured his first ever success in Qatar, beating Van Emden and Quinziato, he also took a solid command of the general classification. Despite an excellent 7th fastest time today, Mark Cavendish sees his Golden jersey go to his Dimension Data team mate.

After two normal stages and intense battles between the top guns of the Tour of Qatar, day 3 of the event offered a far different menu to the 133 remaining riders : a windy 11.4-km individual time-trial set between the Lusail MotoGP circuit and the spectacular Arena that welcomed last year’s Handball World Championships.

After best times set by Jesse Sergent (ALM), and Jordan Kerby (DPC), experienced Lieuwe Westra (AST) hit hard, clocking a reference time of 14’09”. The Dutchman’s time remained unthreatened for 45 minutes before his compatriot Jos van Emden (TLJ) flew to the line in an impressive time of 13’51”.

But the man of the day would be Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD). The Norwegian first set the fastest time at the intermediate time-check in 6’16” before crossing the line in an astonishing 13’26”, winning the stage at an average speed of 50.918 km/h, with a comfortable 25” advantage over Van Emden and 29” over Manuel Quinziato (BMC). On the exact same circuit as last year, the Dimension Data rider thrashed the previous record set by Niki Terpstra (14’03”) and established a time that was 59” faster than his personal best of 2015 when he finished 8th.

Starting his timed effort with a slim 5” lead over Kristoff in the GC, Mark Cavendish had to bid farewell to his Golden Jersey, despite a very decent 7th fastest time, just 44” adrift. The new overall leader is his team mate Boasson Hagen who can enjoy a 26” advantage over Cavendish and 29” over Quinziato. ‘Cav’ however keeps command of the points classification and will therefore be wearing the silver jersey on tomorrow’s 4th stage between Al Zubarah and Madinat Al Shamal. The white pearl jersey for the best young rider switches shoulders and returns to those of Søren Kragh Andersen (TGA).


Edvald Boasson Hagen: “It went pretty well today, I have been feeling quite strong since earlier in the week so I had a go to try and take the victory today. I am feeling strong but also I suffered in the wind. I am just happy that it was enough to take the jersey which we will do our best to keep”.

Roger Hammond “today was a crucial day for the team in Qatar so for Edvald to deliver such an impressive display was all the more enjoyable to watch. It was a performance I will remember for a long time. We knew he was in good shape when he came here and today’s time trial has proved that. There is a lot of racing still to go here but we are looking forward to the challenge”.

Jos Van Emden (2nd): “I never consider myself well off, but I thought that I would have a good chance to win this time trial,” van Emden said about his second place. “When I heard that Boasson Hagen was 25 seconds faster, it hurt me. It’s always hard to be dethroned, but it proves that he’s simply the best on the other hand. I delivered a good time trial. The difference between is the power.”

Manuel Quinziato (3rd): “Third in a time trial at this level is a good sign. I spent a good winter at the training camps we did. I knew I had good shape in training but you never know how’re you’re going to feel in the race and today was a good confirmation that I’m starting the season off on the right foot. We are happy. I think we are in third and fourth on GC with two stages to go, so we can still try something.”

Greg Van Avermaet (4th) “I’m pretty happy with my time trial. Before last year I had never done a good time trial so I tried to do my best this year. I did the same average in terms of power as last year which was good. I think I’m fourth in the GC. I was hoping that Boasson Hagen would not be so strong and that everyone would stay at the same level so that I could have taken the jersey. It’s a little bit disappointing but it’s only the start of the season.”

1.    BOASSON HAGEN Edvald        DIMENSION DATA    13′ 26”
2.    VAN EMDEN Jos        TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO    13′ 51”    + 00′ 25”
3.    QUINZIATO Manuel        BMC RACING TEAM    13′ 55”    + 00′ 29”
4.    VAN AVERMAET Greg        BMC RACING TEAM    13′ 58”    + 00′ 32”
5.    GRUZDEV Dmitriy        ASTANA PRO TEAM    14′ 06”    + 00′ 40”
6.    WESTRA Lieuwe        ASTANA PRO TEAM    14′ 09”    + 00′ 43”
7.    CAVENDISH Mark        DIMENSION DATA    14′ 10”    + 00′ 44”
8.    KERBY Jordan        DRAPAC CYCLING    14′ 10”    + 00′ 44”
9.    ANDERSEN Søren Kragh        TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN    14′ 11”    + 00′ 45”
10.    OSS Daniel        BMC RACING TEAM    14′ 13”    + 00′ 47”

22.    BENNETT Sam        BORA-ARGON 18    14′ 30”    + 01′ 04”
30.    THWAITES Scott        BORA-ARGON 18    14′ 37”    + 01′ 11”
35.    DEMPSTER Zakkari        BORA-ARGON 18    14′ 44”    + 01′ 18”
97.    MC LAY DANIEL        FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT    15′ 19”    + 01′ 53”
101.    REBELLIN Davide        CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE    15′ 21”    + 01′ 55”
115.    BRAMMEIER Matthew    DIMENSION DATA    15′ 33”    + 02′ 07”
118.    MCNALLY Mark        WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT    15′ 34”    + 02′ 08”

1    BOASSON HAGEN Edvald        DIMENSION DATA    06h 53′ 35”
2    CAVENDISH Mark        DIMENSION DATA        + 00′ 26”
3    QUINZIATO Manuel        BMC RACING TEAM        + 00′ 32”
4    VAN AVERMAET Greg        BMC RACING TEAM        + 00′ 34”
5    KRISTOFF Alexander        TEAM KATUSHA        + 00′ 45”
6    ANDERSEN Søren Kragh        TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN        + 00′ 48”
7    BYSTRÖM Sven Erik        TEAM KATUSHA        + 01′ 02”
8    BENNETT Sam        BORA-ARGON 18        + 01′ 07”
9    KUZNETSOV Viacheslav        TEAM KATUSHA        + 01′ 10”
10    SCHÄR Michael        BMC RACING TEAM        + 01′ 15”



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