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"But I’m very pleased with the result and my performance today. I had ambitions before the stage today and it’s great to sit second in the GC going into the last part of the race."

Photo: Sirotti

MACIEJ BODNAR

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PETER SAGAN

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TOUR OF QATAR

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10.02.2015 @ 18:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Maciej Bodnar proved on stage 3 of Tour of Qatar that it’s no coincidence he’s a three-time national TT champion. The Pole powered his way to 2nd place overall after a great performance in the short, fast and windy time trial. Bodnar finished 4th on the stage 9 seconds behind stage winner Niki Terpstra, who also leads the GC. Peter Sagan is still within the top-10 after stage 3.

 

Bodnar completed the 10.9km time trial in 14”12’ and was naturally satisfied with his performance after crossing the line.

 

“It was a really tough time trial because of the strong winds. The route switched directions several times and we had head-, tail- and crosswinds, which made it difficult. But I’m very pleased with the result and my performance today. I had ambitions before the stage today and it’s great to sit second in the GC going into the last part of the race”, says Bodnar and adds about the competition:

 

“We have some strong adversaries here in Qatar. I finished in the same time as Wiggins and one second away from Cancellara, so I take that as a good sign. The race is not over yet, as we still have three stages left, where we have serious chances – both Peter and I. Terpstra is very strong, but we will do our best”.

 

 

Close fight in the GC

The 10.9km individual time trial was again carried out in windy, low-visibility conditions. Mid-way through the start list, Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) rode to a new best time, but was soon after beaten by Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) with just one second.

 

For a long time it looked like a stage win for the Swiss rider, until Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) crossed the line in a winning time. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Maciej Bodnar equaled the time set by Bradley Wiggins, while Chris Juul-Jensen showed his talent by finishing 12th. Peter Sagan was 30th on the stage 0”46’ behind Terpstra, however enough to keep his spot in the GC top-10.

 

Tristan Hoffman, Sport Director, was subsequently happy with how the Tinkoff-Saxo riders performed on the stage.

 

“Bodnar did a fabulous time trial. We had talked about him aiming for a top result and that was our goal going into the TT. We had of course hoped to take the lead, but we also have to be realistic. Niki Terpstra is a very strong rider and the defending champion, as he also won overall last year here in Qatar. But we are second in the GC and we’ll continue to fight for the top spot for the rest of the race”, comments Tristan Hoffman.

 

Peter Sagan crashed on stage 1, which resulted in a classic case of road rash. After the stage, Hoffman had praises for his Slovak captain.

 

“I think that Peter did a good time trial, he was not in the top but we have to be cautious after the crash. He fought his way through the first stages and I think he rides with great motivation. If you look at the GC, he’s among the best of those riders aiming for the Classics”, concludes Hoffman.

 

 

Wednesday’s stage 4 in Qatar from Al Thakhira to Mesaieed once again presents the riders with 165,5 of windy kilometers as the fight for the overall lead continues. 

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