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.
Niki Terpstra says he thought that Bradley Wiggins would 'beat everyone by 40 seconds' in the Tour of Qatar stage
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