World time trial champion Bradley Wiggins beaten by Niki Terpstra and Fabian Cancellara
- Niki Terpstra takes overall race lead

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) made his first competitive outing in world champion stripes in the Tour of Qatar time trial on Tuesday, but was beaten to the stage win.

Wiggins posted a time of 14 minutes and 12 seconds around the exposed 10.9-kilometre course, but only had a short stay in the hotseat as he was first beaten by Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), then defending champion Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) blew everyone away with a blistering ride.

Last year’s Paris-Roubaix winner Terpstra now moves into the overall race lead after his stage win, 11 secs ahead of Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff-Saxo). Ian Stannard (Sky) put in a strong ride to finish fifth on the stage and move up to third overall.

Stannard’s Sky team-mate and British compatriot Luke Rowe also rode well to finish 15th, and now sits fifth overall and leads the best young rider classification.

The flat, short course suited power riders as much as the time trial specialists, creating a top 10 that could also serve as who’s who of 2015 classics contenders. Worthy of note is that former Hour Record holder Matthias Brändle (IAM) placed sixth.

The Tour of Qatar continues on Wednesday with a 165.5km road stage. The race concludes on Friday.

Tour of Qatar 2015, stage three: Lusail Circuit, 10.9km ITT
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx-QuickStep in 14-03
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing at 8 secs
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) at 9 secs
4. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at same time
5. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 10 secs
6. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 18 secs
7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep at 20 secs
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka at 21 secs
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing at 24 secs
10. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling at 25 secs

Overall classification after stage three
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx-QuickStep
2. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 11 secs
3. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 12 secs
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing at 19 secs
5. Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky at 33 secs
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 36 secs
7. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep at 42 secs
8. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling at 44 secs
9. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 46 secs
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 48 secs

Niki Terpstra on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Niki Terpstra took the race lead after stage three

Alexander Kristoff on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Alexander Kristoff dropped off the top of the GC leaderboard

Bradley Wiggins on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Bradley Wiggins placed third

Niki Terpstra on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Niki Terpstra on his way to the stage win

Luke Rowe on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Luke Rowe moved into the best young rider’s jersey

  • elan

    I for one do not see any training in Qatar that would benefit the classics.And if it rains well its game over.There is to much I will do this race because I might win.If you look what Contador is doing its awesome.

  • Baz

    Janet M. makes some perceptive points, especially about what goes on in B W’s head; the best pre Paris – Roubaix preparation he can do now is to work for Stannard. I think he just might.

  • Edvid

    At a glance, you might mistakenly wonder why on earth Wiggo is riding in the RR World Champion’s kit…

  • Janet Mozelewski

    Terpstra has come to Qatar after a winter doing 6-day races. (As did Cav btw) He is ahead of everyone else because there is no training substitute for actual racing. Wiggins is well behind where he needs to be to contest Paris-Roubaix. The classics come so early.
    I read Wiggins moaning about the Tour of Qatar…the conditions and how it wasn’t enjoyable. Not very professional seeing he’s happy to take the moolah such races inject. Bt more to the point it bodes ill for his mind-set. Qatar is a very important race as a prep for, and pointer to form ahead of, Paris-Roubaix. There is a reason Etixx are so skilled at managing crosswinds in Qatar and elsewhere….they get those conditions at home where so many classics are staged. That is why they race this race so seriously.Wiggins needs to decide, and pronto, if he is serious about the classic other than that its just pie in the Sky. A wishlist of things to do before retirement, nothing more.
    Perhaps he should concentrate solely on the Hour record.

  • Alison Stannard

    So proud of Ian. So much work done for others, now is your time to shine!

  • Mark Jones

    Pleasing to see Stannard having a good start to the season. Hopefully he will be in a good shape for this year’s classics season and avoid injury to get a deserved win (or at least a podium) in one of the monuments.

  • Chris

    Hmmmm! Beards are not aero!!