Tour of Qatar 2016: Cav takes stage 1 and leaders jersey

At 176 kilometres, stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of Qatar is a flat endeavour, leading from Dukhan to Al Khor Corniche. An elite front group with Cav, Kristoff and Van Avermaet breaks loose after 50 kilometres and makes it till the end. Cavendish outsprints Modolo and Guardini to take the leaders jersey, while Kristoff finishes fifth. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 1st stage Tour of Qatar

1. Mark Cavendish (gbr) s.t.
2. Sacha Modolo (ita) s.t.
3. Andrea Guardini (ita) s.t.
4. Sam Bennett (irl) s.t.
5. Alexander Kristoff (nor) s.t.
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (nor) s.t.
7. Greg Van Avermaet (bel) s.t.
8. Manuel Quinziato (ita) s.t.
9. Arnaud Gerard (fra) s.t.
10. Søren Kragh Anderson (den) s.t.

GC after stage 1
1. Mark Cavendish (gbr)
2. Sacha Modolo (ita) + 0.08
3. Andrea Guardini (ita) + 0.11
4. Alexander Kristoff (nor) + 0.12
5. Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (rus) + 0.13
6. Greg Van Avermaet (bel) + 0.14
7. Sam Bennett (irl) + 0.15
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (nor) s.t.
9. Manuel Quinziato (ita) s.t.
10. Arnaud Gerard (fra) s.t.

Race report
Once the flag is dropped the pace is high and in the first hour of racing 52.5 kilometrs are covered. With forces of up 3 to 4 the Qatarian winds are present big time.

With 50 km’s done a front group of 21 riders breaks loose, featuring Kristoff, Bystrom, Kuznetsov, Morkov, Cavendish, Boassen Hagen, Farrar, Andersen, Stamsnijder, Waeytens, Van Avermaet, Oss, Quinziato, Schar, Bennett, Dempster, Selig, Gerard, Guardini, Modolo and Jones. They race to a maximum advantage of 1’30”.

The gain goes down to 1 minute and there it lingers. But in the last 10 kilometres the BMC-riders in the front group start pushing extra hard and the gap increases, making it clear stage 1 will boil down to a Cav/Kristoff sprint.

That is, it looked that way, but the Norwegian is nowhere to be seen in the sprint and Cavendish bests Modolo and Guardini to power to the leaders jersey.

Results at the intermediate sprints were: 1. Kristoff, 2. Cavendish, 3. Modolo (sprint 1), and 1. Cavendish, 2. Kuznetsov, 3. Van Avermaet (sprint 2), so that’s Cav taking a time bonus of 15 seconds in the 1st stage in the 2016 Tour of Qatar.

Tour of Qatar 2016 stage 1: Route maps, and more

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Mark Cavendish

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