Tour of Qatar 2014: stage one - five observations

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Tour of Qatar 2014: stage one – five observations

Flanders, twinned with Qatar, high times for Endura, and more


Niki, Niki

Perhaps only in a team boasting the talents of Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish, Alessandro Petacchi, and Zdenek Stybar could Nikki Terpstra be considered just another rider. The Dutchman, a former national time trial champion and Dwars Door Vlaanderen, added the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar to an increasingly impressive palmares with an astute tactical display capped with a commanding sprint to see off the challenge of another fine rider toiling in the shadow of a more valuable talent: Andre Greipel’s lead out man, Jurgen Roelandts.

Niki Terpstra reaps the rewards of his dedication. Perhaps only at a team as strong as OPQS would he be just another rider. pic: ©OPQS/Tim de Waele

Industry insiders are an invaluable resource for a journalist, and RCUK learned from Specialized UK’s James Booth that Terpstra was the most engaged of his team-mates at last year’s pre-season bike fitting session, prepared to explore minute adjustments to his time trial position late into the night in his drive to maximise his performance. The Dutchman showed a similar attention to detail yesterday, making the most of the intermediate sprints, and jumping clear at the close of the stage to earn himself a nine-second lead on GC at the end of the first stage.

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