The 5th stage of the Tour of Qatar saw an exact repeat of the stage 4 podium with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) taking the win ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin). Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung unfortunately suffered the loss of Theo Bos who crashed out of the race.
The stage got off to another blustery start with echelons forming inside the first kilometer. Etixx-Quickstep had attempted to gap Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff-Saxo) who was caught out in the 2nd echelon on the road. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung also had all its riders present in that 2nd group though and so our African team along with Tinkoff-Saxo, brought the 2 groups back together after 60km’s of racing.
With the general regrouping, 3 riders then took off in pursuit of victory. Matthew Hayman (Orica-Greenedge) formed part of this escape, the Australian was a threat to Niki Terpstra’s (Etixx-Quickstep) overall lead, resulting in a high pressure chase. Unfortunately there were a number of crashes in the highly stressed peloton and our Theo Bos was one of the casualties. Theo was unable to continue and had to abandon the race.
As the race reached the final 30km’s the wind had subsided somewhat and the peloton was able to reel in the 3 lead riders. With Bos not in contention for the bunch sprint, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were looking to deliver Edvald Boasson Hagen to a good position for the sprint but a late split in the final 5km sent all the riders into panic mode. Eventually a reduced group of riders, including Edvald made it to the line together.