Tour of Qatar 2015: Favourites
With Kittel, Kristoff, Sagan, Boonen, Bouhanni, Démare, Forest, Guardini, Modolo, Blythe and Bennett the Tour of Qatar is going to be sprinters carnival. But will the fastest men win the overall by taking bonification seconds? Last year saw Niki Terpstra winning the GC after being in the right escape at day 1. (Slideshow route/profile)
Winner in 2014, the Dutchman loves the winds that belong to Qatar like a dog to his master. Last season was very successful for Terpstra winning not only Qatar, but Dwars door Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix also.
Just like his teammate Terpstra, Boonen loves the (cross) winds and the pleasant temperatures in Qatar. The desert race is the perfect prelude to the spring classics in which he loves to shine. It’s no wonder he took the overall in Qatar four times whilst winning 22 stages.
Same story for Cancellara – Qatar is a good preparation for the classics. But unlike Boonen, the Swiss usually is in shape later in the season. Will it be the same this year?
In last year’s Paris-Roubaix at the forefront as a classic specialist and in 2015 he says ‘bye-bye road-racing’ with the famous cobblestone classic. Of course, Wiggins wants to make a proper farewell, so he shall be in top-form in Qatar. Since the course offers an ITT, the Olympics and World Champion time trialing was sort of leading before the race has even started. Bad luck for him he lost 33 seconds in stage 1 due to crosswinds.
The Slovakian starts fresh with Tinkoff-Saxo. During the first training sessions with his new team in Gran Canaria he declared last December he wants to do better in 2015 than he did in 2014. The bunch is warned.
Fastest sprinter on earth, but not as experienced with cross-winds as the likes of Boonen Terpstra and Cancellara.
Winner of Milan-San Remo plus two stages in the Tour is not as fast Kittel, but speaking to his advantage is the fact that strong winds are normal in his training grounds on the west coast of Norway.
Tour of Qatar 2015: Images and more
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Tour of Qatar Route
Tour of Qatar Riders
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