Terpstra and Demare triumph on the Doha Corniche

news15.02.2014After the race

Like two years when he captured his first ever professional victory on the Doha Corniche, Arnaud Démare flew to a fantastic sprint victory on the final stage of the 2014 Tour of Qatar. The Frenchman managed to beat Daniele Bennati and Bernhard Eisel to the line. In the bunched pack, Niki Terpstra wins his first ever Tour of Qatar ahead of Tom Boonen and Jurgen Roelandts.

As the 147 remaining riders of the Tour of Qatar gathered to the start at the Sealine Beach Resort, south of Qatar, Golden Jersey Niki Terpstra (OPQ) could enjoy a comfortable 17” lead in the general classification over team mate Tom Boonen. The Dutchman knew that he didn't have a lot to worry about on the day's 113.5-km stage that would finish on a circuit around the Doha Corniche. In fairly warm and sunny conditions, it took just a few metres for the first attacks to occur. Indeed five men powered away in the first kilometre: Sergent (TFR), Burghardt (BMC), Westra (AST), Bazzana (UHC) and Chtioui (SKD).

The front five who were of not a threat for overall victory pulled away progressively. The gap indeed went from 1'20 at km 7 to a maximum 2'50 at km 35. As they entered the final 6-km circuit, the leading group enjoyed a 2'30 advantage at the crossing of the line. The gap however dropped down to 51” at the first intermediate sprint (km 73.5, 4th crossing of the line), claimed by Chtioui ahead of Sergent and Westra.

While the pack led by the Omega Pharma – Quickstep, Lotto – Belisol and Orica – Greenedge boys kept the escapees within shooting distance, the gap moved back up to 1'55 at the second bonus sprint (km 90.5, 7th crossing of the line) that Wetsra won ahead ofSergent and Burghardt. The strong men at the front hung on to the lead all the way to the last lap and were eventually caught just before the final 1-km mark.

In a bunched sprint, as expected, Arnaud Démare (FDJ) flew to an impressive victory, beating to the line Daniele Bennati (TCS) and Bernhardt Eisel (SKY). Winner of his first ever victory as a professional rider at the end of his first ever stage race, the 2012 Tour of Qatar, the 22-year-old Frenchman triumphed again on the Doha Corniche.

The other man of the day was Niki Terpstra. After first capturing the Golden Jersey on day 1 of the event when he won in Dukhan, the Dutchman managed to hang on to the overall leadership all the way to the finish of the Tour. The 29-year old wins his first major stage race, beating Tom Boonen by 17” and Jurgen Roelandts by 20”.

Winner of two stages on this 13th edition (22 stage wins in Qatar), Boonen wins the points' classification (Silver Jersey) while his team mate Guillaume Van Keirsbulck finishes best young rider of the race (White Pearl Jersey). Impressive all along the Tour of Qatar, Omega Pharma – Quickstep are crowned best team.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 6

Classifications after the stage 6


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