Typical to form, crosswinds played a part in the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar, splitting the peloton in half as Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) took the bunch sprint and with it the early overall lead.
Four-time champion Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) staked his claim on the 2015 edition of the race by placing second despite getting caught up in an earlier crash, with FDJ fastman Arnaud Demare in third.
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Bradley Wiggins (GBr) was one of those stuck in the second group, losing 33 seconds to the leaders. His chance of an overall win now looks unlikely, but he’ll still be focussed for the individual time trial stage on Tuesday.