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"It was unfortunate a gap opened up right in front of Ian at the line as it meant he lost five seconds on Bodnar and Kristoff was able to move within nine seconds of him. Sagan also moved within four seconds of Luke in the white jersey...

Photo: Sirotti

IAN STANNARD

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TOUR OF QATAR

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11.02.2015 @ 17:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe remain well positioned at the Tour of Qatar after stage four reached a hotly-contested conclusion.

 

Stannard and Rowe were both kept out of trouble on another blustery day in the desert, with Stannard retaining third place overall and Rowe, who now sits sixth on GC, staying in control of the young rider’s jersey.

 

Both riders resisted the temptation to get embroiled in the sprint which concluded the 165.5km trek from Al Thakhira to Mesaieed, with the duo rolling home five seconds back in the peloton after the fast men had battled it out for victory.

 

It was Alexander Kristoff who took the spoils on Wednesday, with the Katusha rider bagging his second success of the race after holding off a late surge from Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo).

 

The result saw Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step)’s lead at the top of the standings cut to six seconds over Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff-Saxo), with Stannard just six seconds further adrift.

 

 

Back at the team hotel, Sports Director Servais Knaven was pleased to report a full bill of health after more on-the-road crashes, and insists there will be plenty to fight for on Thursday.

 

He told TeamSky.com: "Our riders didn't have any significant problems today - Bradley suffered a flat tyre but was easily able to make his way back in the bunch. After that fast start we turned into a headwind which meant the stage was easier to control. 

 

"It was unfortunate a gap opened up right in front of Ian at the line as it meant he lost five seconds on Bodnar and Kristoff was able to move within nine seconds of him. Sagan also moved within four seconds of Luke in the white jersey classification. With bonus seconds awarded at the line, it means there's plenty for us to take into account heading into stage five. 

"There's chances of crosswinds tomorrow so it's vital we keep them both well positioned. I'm predicting an exciting day of racing."

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