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“My form is really big surprise because I came here with no ambitions but I’m good in the overall and have three stage wins. It’s great and it’s way above my expectations.”

Photo: Qatar Cycling Federation/Paumer/B.Bade

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TOUR OF QATAR

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12.02.2015 @ 17:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alexander Kristoff continues his victorious performances in Qatar. Today the Team Katusha leader took his third victory, winning the 5th stage of the Tour of Qatar in Madinat ash-Samal. At the finish line Kristoff again beat Peter Sagan from Tinkoff-Saxo and Nikias Arndt from Giant-Alpecin.

 

"Honestly, today I was quite tired. Every stage here in Qatar is pretty hard, so after 4 stages it was not easy at all. But we managed to stay in front all day. We concentrated on our goal and it worked well. At the end our team did a great effort in the last 5km to bring me in the best possible position for the sprint. We had a good plan for today’s stage and we managed to do it. I want to thank all of my teammates for support and great help on their part. I am very happy now with this nice team victory," explained Alexander Kristoff.

 

“If there’s no one in a break then I will try [for the bonus seconds - ed.] but I know that it will be difficult to win overall because I must win a stage as well. I don’t expect to do but you don’t win if you don’t try,” Kristoff told Cyclingnews.

 

“My form is really big surprise because I came here with no ambitions but I’m good in the overall and have three stage wins. It’s great and it’s way above my expectations.”

 

"The stage was not easy at all. From the start it was a strong crosswind, which provoked echelons in peloton. However, every time Katusha’s riders were in the front, so when a group of 40 leaders went away we had 4 riders with them. Later when the peloton came back together, we continued to control the situation and to support Alex. Marco Haller went in a breakaway to protect the team’s interests, so we did not chase the break and saved our energy. In the final we tried to attack from the peloton in the crosswind; it was a good move. In the finish our team did a perfect job for Alex Kristoff, bringing him in front with 250 meters to go, where he made another winning sprint. Tomorrow is the last stage, so for the moment it is impossible to predict something concerning the general classification. Already we can be satisfied with the results we have here in the Tour of Qatar," said Katusha’s sports director Torsten Schmidt.

 

The fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar started near the famous citadel Al Zubara Fort and ended in Madinat ash-Shamal after 153km of racing. In the first kilometers due to the strong cross wind the peloton split in two parts with 40 riders in the leading group. Later the peloton came together, while a group of 5 riders including Marco Haller broke away. The break did not manage to get any big advantage and with 17 km to go it was neutralized.

 

With 5km to go Team Katusha moved to the front and broke away creating a new group of leaders. In the final km Jacopo Guarnieri supported Alex Kristoff, providing him a good position in front with 250 meters to go. Alexander Kristoff made his impressive powerful sprint, taking his third stage victory in Qatar.

 

In the general classification Kristoff moved up to 3rd place overall, 11 seconds behind Niki Terpstra from Etixx – Quick Step, who still holds the lead. Katusha’s rider holds the silver jersey as the point classification leader.

 

Tomorrow the final stage of the Tour of Qatar – 124,5 km from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche - will take place.

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