Dutch rider Niki Terpstra claimed Tuesday’s Tour of Qatar third stage, a 10.9 kilometre race-against-the-clock, upstaging time-trial specialists Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins.
Terpstra covered the time trial at the Lusail motorsport circuit in 14min 3sec to beat Cancellara by eight seconds and world champion in the discipline Wiggins by 9sec.
Terpstra’s reward was to inherit the leader’s gold jersey in the race he is aiming to win for the second successive season.
He has an 11sec advantage over Poland’s Maciej Bodnar.
“There were lots of specialists, a good peloton. And I beat them all, it’s fantastic!” said Terpstra.
“I set off to put in a good time-trial for the overall standings…but winning the stage!” he said after another day’s action in difficult conditions.
“The wind was stronger even than yesterday, I knew it was going to be hard,” the 30-year-old added.
“It was important not to start too quickly, especially as the final two kilometres were into the wind.”
Britain’s Wiggins said: “This is the first time I’ve put on the rainbow jersey (as world champion) since September. It’s always special, it’s a big event.”
Wednesday’s fourth stage is a 165.5km ride between Al Thakhira to Mesaieed.
Results of the Tour of Qatar third stage, a 10.9 kilometre time-trial at the Lusail circuit on Tuesday:
1. Niki Terpstra (NED/EQS) 14min 03sec, 2. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/TFR) at 8sec, 3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 9, 4. Maciej Bodnar (POL/TFR) 9, 5. Ian Stannard (GBR/SKY) 10, 6. Matthias Brandle (AUT/IAM) 18, 7. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/EQS) 20, 8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/MTN) 21, 9. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 24, 10. Reto Hollenstein (SUI/IAM) 25
1. Niki Terpstra (NED/EQS) 7hr 53min 42sec, 2. Maciej Bodnar (POL/TCS) at 11s, 3. Ian Stannard (GBR/SKY) 12, 4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 19, 5. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 33, 6. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 36, 7. Tom Boonen (BEL/EQS) 42, 8. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) 44, 9. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 46, 10. Peter Sagan (SVK/TCS) 48
– Agence France-Presse