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"Overall, I think it was a good day for me and for Tinkoff-Saxo, as we had two guys in the leading group. I’m very motivated and we all look forward to tomorrow’s time trial, which will be very important."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo

PETER SAGAN

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TOUR OF QATAR

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09.02.2015 @ 18:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo has secured a good starting point before the crucial time trial on stage 3 at Tour of Qatar. Both Peter Sagan and Maciej Bodnar finished in the decimated and select front group at stage 2 and are now 7th and 10th respectively in the GC. Sagan also takes over the white jersey after sprinting to fourth place in the finale, which was won by Alexander Kristoff.

 

Stage 2 was marked by heavy crosswinds, which affected the race throughout the entire stage. Peter Sagan says:

 

“It was a really tough day. We had headwind at the start, which then soon after turned into crosswind and lasted for almost the rest of the stage. It was a battle throughout the day with many splits and gaps. Overall, I think it was a good day for me and for Tinkoff-Saxo, as we had two guys in the leading group. I’m very motivated and we all look forward to tomorrow’s time trial, which will be very important”.

 

 

Stage 2 from Al Wakra to Al Khor Corniche presented the riders of this year’s Tour of Qatar with 194,5 kilometers of long open roads exposed to crosswinds from the sputh. A rapid start fractured the peloton into pieces after a few kilometers and the average speed soared to a whooping 54kph after two hours of racing. Overnight leader José Rojas (Movistar) was like many other riders and favorites caught behind and eventually shaken loose, as the sandstorms engulfed the front group.

 

In the end, a 15-man group emerged victorious from the crosswind battle and hit the finale almost an hour ahead of the fastest race schedule – among them were Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan and Maciej Bodnar. After an edgy approach to the final kilometer, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) started his sprint with 200m to go and held on to the lead to take the stage win and overall lead. Peter Sagan came fast from behind in the last 50 meters but had to settle for 4th in the sprint.

 

 

According to Sport Director Tristan Hoffman there’s no doubt that the stage was one of the most exciting seen in a long while.

 

“Today was incredible. It was one of the most exciting days I’ve seen from a team car. The riders went full gas from kilometer zero to the finish in sandstorms and crosswind with gaps being created all over the place. I think the team did a great job, at some point we had six guys in the front group and we finished with our two leaders, Sagan and Bodnar, in the front group. Sagan has the white jersey and they are both in the top-10 ahead of the time trial tomorrow, so we are satisfied”, comments Tristan Hoffman.

 

Peter Sagan is the best-placed Tinkoff-Saxo rider in 7th followed by Maciej Bodnar in 10th place. Tomorrow’s stage 3 is a 10,9km desert time trial. With the first 13 riders in the GC all within 10 seconds, it will surely become a close battle for the top-spot. 

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