Yesterday’s opening stage was action packed and rocket fuelled. Today’s? Well let’s just say it was long, LONG morning on streets of Doha.
Tour of Qatar, Stage 2, Doha to Doha, 135km
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) went mano-a-mano in the closing metres with the strong Norwegian getting his wheel over the line first… by a whisper! Wanty-Group Goberts’s Roy Jans rounded out the podium.
Oh . so . close!
Cavendish retains the overall by five seconds from Kristoff and also the natty silver points jersey. Best young rider Søren Kragh Andersen (Giant-Alpecin) was caught up in an entirely avoidable crash with 400m to go [cries], the pearl white jersey passes to Kristoff’s young lieutenant Sven Erik Bystrøm [wipes tears].
This stage was billed as the chance to reconnoitre the course for the World Championships in October. First, lets hope they deploy barriers to help avoid the type of crash we saw today (more details on this). Second, while the fan may be left thinking the whole spectacle will be as exciting as a basket full of damp squibs, word from the peloton in Velo News is that it’ll be ‘gnarly’.
Skip to the six minute mark for the flamme rouge action…
Header image: Through the trees © Qatar Cycling Federation / Paumer Kare Dhelie Thorstad (From race website)