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„I don't want to give any promises, but my legs are feeling great. Together with my squad we're going to keep on trying. I want to win that race, who wouldn't, being at my place? I won't give up,” Bodnar said.

MACIEJ BODNAR

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TOUR OF QATAR

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13.02.2015 @ 01:50 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Bodnar may hide in a shadow of rising stars Polish cycling has in Michał Kwiatkowski and Rafał Majka, but more knowledgeable enthusiasts of bike racing couldn't be surprised that Tinkoff-Saxo decided to use Peter Sagan's most trusted domestique as their secret weapon in Qatar. Quickly proving to be something more than just another paragraph in Slovakian superstar's lucrative contract with the Russian squad, the 29-year old time trialist is about to finish his first race with his new team on a podium.

 

„Originally, Sagan was appointed as our leader, but we also considered a situation in which I would take over such role. I received a huge support [from the team] before the race and it still can be felt,” Bodnar told Polish daily newspaper Przegląd Sportowy.

 

Courtesy of his impressive time trialing skills, the former national champion in that discipline moved to second position in Tour of Qatar general classification on Tuesday, 12 seconds down on race leader and defending champion Niki Terpstra. Playing a role of Sagan's most reliable domestique as well as chasing his personal success, Bodnar managed to further improve his situation during another windswept stage on Wednesday, reducing his time loss to the Etixx-Quick Step rider to only 6 seconds.

 

„It would be cool to take a victory, but I'm far away from achieving it. This race has its own rules, with twists of action happening several times each day. It is mostly flat, and yet a scenario tends to change at least like during mountain stages at the Tour de France.

 

„It's all about a wind. I'm handling it somehow, but everyone has to remain attentive and stay at the front of a bunch. There are 140 of us here, though, and at least 100 realise that too,” the 29-year old Pole explained.

 

„I managed to regain few seconds on Wednesday in line with our plan, but I need to remain cautious. One moment of deconcentration and everything could be lost. Three days ago we were riding with a speed of 70km/h for about an hour, in Europe it happens mostly during stage finishes!”

 

Tinkoff-Saxo gave it another try with Sagan and Bodnar at the front on Thursday, making it to the 10-rider group which forced a split inside final 20 kilometers, led by Katusha. Escapees were eventually brought back by the speeding peloton which didn't prevent Russian squad's Alexander Kristoff from taking his third victory in this year's edition of the Tour of Qatar, but has made Polish rider's situation more complicated. Even though it should be more about pure speed than strength in the ultimate stage of the event, the powerful Norwegian keeps biggest chances on improving his overall position by collecting bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint and at the finish. The 29-year old Pole refuses to give up, though.

 

„I don't want to give any promises, but my legs are feeling great. Together with my squad we're going to keep on trying. I want to win that race, who wouldn't, being at my place? I won't give up,” Bodnar told Przegląd Sportowy following Wednesday's stage.

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