Strong desert winds once again played havoc with the peloton during the Tour of Qatar on stage five, blowing the bunch to pieces on several occasions and putting some riders in trouble.
Distinctive echelons of riders formed across the desert roads of the Qatar race’s fifth stage. Once a gap appears between two groups of riders, it is very hard to close it up – particularly if the lead group is determined to stay away.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
A lead group of around 30 riders contested the finish in Madinat Al Shamal, with Alexander Kristoff taking the victory after his Katusha team had done much of the damage in the preceding kilometres alongside Peter Sagan’s Tinkoff-Saxo squad.
Race leader Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) managed to stay in the thick of the action to keep hold of the gold jersey going into Friday’s final stage. However, he only holds a slim lead over his rivals and if he gets caught on the wrong side of a split or lose bonus seconds, he could be deposed in the race’s finale.