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"Arnaud Démare was not on a great day and I saw him go from the first to the third echelon. He came back shortly after the halfway point, at km 106 exactly."

Photo: Qatar Cycling Federation/Paumer/B.Bade










10.02.2015 @ 12:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The second stage of the Tour of Qatar will be remembered. Subject to a sandstorm, it was raced at breakneck speed from kilometer zero to give rise to a big fight for about 190km.Yoann Offredo and Mickael Delage took the opportunity to show their good form as they both finished in the second group, 15 seconds behind winner Alexander Kristoff. and the FDJ team worked to improve it collective strength. Although this was not necessarily reflected in the results.


"A sandstorm like that was new for me," says sports director Martial Gayant. "With a crosswind during the first twenty kilometers, we knew it was going to be a fight and that's how it was. Arnaud Démare was not on a great day and I saw him go from the first to the third echelon. He came back shortly after the halfway point, at km 106 exactly. Two kilometres later, it split again and in the first group of 35 riders, there were five from us: William Bonnet, Michael Delage, Murilo Fischer, Arnaud Démare and Yoann Offredo. Arnaud broke a spoke, changed wheel and returned to the front before he was distanced. It is his second race day and he wants to win a stage. When he saw that he could not get back today, it sat up. He wanted to recover. However, Yoann who likes these races in the wind, and Mickael remained in contention. They did not finish with the first group of fifteen riders but they finished just behind . And Mika who had been ill during the training camp in Calpe and had not done much riding, is a good surprise."


On Wednesday, the third stage will be an individual time trial (10.9 km) in Lüsail, close to where the French handball team conquered their fifth Worlds title ten days ago. David Boucher who suffered from the heat in stage 2, and Johan Le Bon are eager to deliver a good performance.


"The team would have preferred a team time trial," adds Gayant. "But overall, after two days of racing, there is reason to be satisfied. Last year we had done more things wrong. Now we always have 4-5 riders in front when it splits. My team has strength and spirit to work and it will quickly pay off."



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