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“We worked well together - all day - and we had five there at end to make the sprint for Jasper. Of course, our main goal is for Fabian and that he does not lose any time and is in good position for the TT on day three." 

FABIAN CANCELLARA

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GREGORY RAST

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08.02.2015 @ 20:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Tour of Qatar opened with a 136-kilometer stage from Dukhan to Sealine Beach and despite a headwind for most of the stage a decimated peloton of just over 50 riders romped into the final kilometers for the sprint finish.

 

The five Trek Factory Racing riders who arrived with the front group worked well to help Jasper Stuyven as the crosswinds picked up again for the ending kilometers, and he managed a hard-fought sixth place in a tight sprint won by José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar). Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) rounded out the top three.

 

“We knew that the road turned and there was going to be echelons at the end and the peloton did split,” Stuyven explained. “Danny [van Poppel] missed it so we decided I would do the sprint. I was in good position, I was in Gert’s [Steegmans] wheel, and after Boy [van Poppel] came from behind to help, and we didn’t know they were coming and they gapped us off a little bit. We came with a good lead out, but there is potential to finish higher; it’s a good to start to start the week with a good feeling and a good effort by the whole team. But if you have the potential, and everyone knows, you always hope for more. We will try again in the next days.”

 

“With 20k to go it was very important to be in the front because the crosswind started again, and it split there again. We were five left and we talked about the finish. Gert was great and had Jasper on his wheel, and Boy did good work at the end, too, but we lost each other a bit. It was good, but not perfect,” agreed Gregory Rast.

 

Trek Factory Racing brought some of its best riders to battle Qatar’s brutal winds with the primary focus on Fabian Cancellara for a high overall placing. But with the fast legs of Danny van Poppel and Jasper Stuyven led by Gert Steegmans and Boy van Poppel at race end, the team will also hope to add a fine stage result.

 

“We made a good start today,” added Trek Factory Racing sport director Dirk Demol.“We worked well together – all day – and we had five there at end to make the sprint for Jasper. Of course, our main goal is for Fabian and that he does not lose any time and is in good position for the TT on day three." 

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