You could describe the Tour of Qatar as a multiple-stage race version of Milan-San Remo. Usually it’s up to the sprinters to shine. Tom Boonen took 22 stages and four overalls in the Arabic country, while Mark Cavendish was victorious in 2013 (four stages plus GC). After his recent win in Dubai Cav will not appear in Qatar.
The 1st stage of the 2015 edition is set to finish in Sealine Beach, a resort just outside Mesaieed. Last year, the opening stage started in Sealine Beach and went to Dukhan Beach. Niki Terpstra took the stage by outsprinting his fellow escapees.
Just like last year, stage 2 is heading to Al Khor Corniche. In 2014 Terpstra and his team-mates made good use of the wind to drop André Greipel in the finale. Tom Boonen sprinted to victory.
Never change a winning formula. Stage 3 is an individual time trial on the Lusail Circuit – 10.9 kilometres and an exact copy of last year’s time trial. Michael Hepburn bested Lars Boom by 1 second.
Same arrival-town as in 2014, but a different course. Yet stage 4 will once again be billiard table-flat. The route leads from Al Thakhira to Mesaieed. It was there Tom Boonen took his 22nd stage-victory in Qatar ever.
The race in stage 5 will take the riders from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat ash-Shamal, just like it did last year, only this time on a different route. Yet the finale is the same. In 2014 it was party-time for André Greipel, who is absent this year.
The final stage from Sealine Beach Resort to capital Doha is a regular since 2011. Arnaud Démare won in 2012 and in 2014, while Andrea Guardini and Mark Cavendish took the stage in the other two years.
Tour of Qatar 2015: Images and more
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