Qatar served up a stage of all change with heartbreak on the side. While over in Catalan new event on the block, La Méditerranéenne, kicked off by making history. It’s a FINAL KILOMETRE filled with drama!
Tour Of Qatar, Stage 4, Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal, 189km
A strong Katusha team ensured Alexander Kristoff stage win number two and the silver points jersey. Team mate Jacopo Guarnieri placed third, with BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet taking the second step. Søren Kragh Andersen (Giant-Alpecin) remains best young rider. Race leader Edvald Boasson Hagan (Dimension Data) suffered a heartbreaking double puncture, trailing in on a team mate’s bike 45secs after the winner with his GC hopes in tatters. Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) clings to the leader’s jersey by just 2 secs from GVA and 6 secs from Manual Quinziato (BMC), with Kristoff only 9secs adrift in 4th. It’s going to be oh so tight in the final stage.
Final Kilometre [10km to go comes at around 14 minutes in]
La Méditerranéenne, Stage 1, Banyoles to Banyoles, TTT, 5.5km
This new event to the race calender might have a name longer than the opening team time trial, but oh la la what excitement! On a wet, technical course FDJ held their nerve and their speed to take victory by just half a second from Astana, with Direct Energie a further 8 seconds back in third. Not only was this FDJ’s first win of the year, it was also their FIRST EVER TTT victory #Chapeau. Matthieu Ladagnous led the team home and wears the leader’s jersey.
Wool beanies and #capsnothats on the podium…
There is no video, but I’m imagining it was a bit like this in the FDJ team car.
Header image: Kristoff wins! © Qatar Cycling Federation/Paumer/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad