Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) took the bunch sprint win at the end of stage five in the 2014 Tour of Qatar on Thursday.
Greipel left nothing to chance after being pipped on the line by Tom Boonen on stage two. The German national champion’s Lotto-Belisol team-mates set up a solid lead-out, before Greipel accelerated away from his rivals on the wide finish straight.
Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge) was the best of the rest in second, with Theo Bos (Belkin) in third.
“I think the team did a really good job during the whole stage to chase the breakaway down and to keep me out of trouble in the last kilometres,” Greipel said at the finish.
“Maybe I put a little bit of anger into my sprint today. But I think it was a good sprint.”
An early four-man escape group had been reeled in with seven kilometres to go to set up the bunch finish. Unlike the previous day’s stage, no speed record was set thanks to a stiff headwind buffeting the riders.
Race leader Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) placed ninth on the stage to maintain the overall race lead ahead of team-mate Tom Boonen.
British rider Ian Stannard (Sky) is fourth overall, with Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in ninth.
The 2014 Tour of Qatar concludes on Friday with the final stage from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche.
Tour of Qatar 2014, stage five: Dukhan to Mesaieed, 135km
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
2. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Theo Bos (Ned) Belkin
4. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Matteo Pelucchi (Swi) IAM Cycling
6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
7. Sam Bennett (Irl) NetApp-Endura
8. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
9. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 17 secs
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 20 secs
4. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 37 secs
5. Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo at 48 secs
6. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-Belisol at 56 secs
7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 57 secs
8. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-00
9. Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-08
10. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol at 1-23
Tom Boonen takes his 22nd career stage win in the Tour of Qatar