Tour of Qatar Stage 4: Van Avermaet Sprints to Second11. February 2016, Doha, Qatar — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet has taken second place behind Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in a sprint finish on stage 4 of the Tour of Qatar.
Van Avermaet picked up six bonus seconds to move him into second overall on the General Classification, two seconds behind Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) who reclaimed the leader’s Gold Jersey.
Manuel Quinziato crossed the line in sixth, retaining his third place overall on the GC at six seconds.
Multiple breakaways spent time at the front of the race before the peloton reformed in the last 15 kilometers. Strong winds created splits in the peloton as they approached the line, leaving a small group to battle it out for the sprint. Edvald Boasson Hagen, who started the day in the Gold Jersey, had a flat tire with ten kilometers to go, eventually losing his lead.
It was a good day in the saddle for Van Avermaet, who started the day fourth in the GC.
“You have to take Qatar by day. It wasn’t so good for Boasson Hagen but unfortunately that’s racing with crashes and flat tires. We will see what happens tomorrow. I was pretty happy with the race and how the team rode in the front. We were always there, and we’re still up there in GC so it was a good day.”
Van Avermaet believes the team has shown their form at the Tour of Qatar.
“We have a strong team with the Classics guys here. It’s always important to build the team around me and I’m really happy with the work they did. I think everybody is in good shape. Everybody knows what work he has to do, even the first guy who was pulling from the first meters until the last lap, so I think we have great condition.”
The Tour of Qatar wraps up tomorrow with a 114.5 kilometer stage in the heart of Doha finishing on Doha Corniche.
With the top four riders on GC separated by only nine seconds, tomorrow’s final stage is set for a battle for the podium places.
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said the team will do everything possible to remain on the podium after tomorrow’s stage.
“The course definitely plays in favor of the sprinters, but we will give it everything we have tomorrow. It’s looking good for the Teams Classification which is a great reflection on how the riders have worked throughout the race.”
BMC Racing Team retains the lead in the Teams Classification, 57 seconds in front of Katusha.
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