Tour of Qatar Stage 3 ITT: Terpstra Back in Gold!
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra, 2014 winner of Tour of Qatar, put himself back in the Gold jersey following the 2015 10.9km Stage 3 ITT in Lusail on Tuesday.
The Dutch rider finished 8" faster than 2nd place Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), and 12" faster than Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) in 3rd place.
Terpstra went into the 3rd Stage just 8" down in the GC, so the time difference of his victory moved him into the overall lead by 11" over Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff-Saxo).
Etixx - Quick-Step has now won 8 races (7 road) in 2015.
Tom Boonen also is back in the Silver jersey as points leader (21 pts) following the stage. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, the Best Young Rider in 2014, finished 7th in the ITT (+20"). Etixx - Quick-Step is currently leading the Team Classification as well.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 165.5km Stage 4, from Al Thakira to Mesaieed, on Wednesday.
"The victory is a bit of a surprise," Terpstra said. "I was just going for a good time trial to move up in the classification. But it went so well I ended up with the stage win as well. At the beginning I wasn't going full gas to save some energy for when I turned into the headwind. Then my Sport Director Wilfried Peeters was pushing me faster and faster until I was giving everything. I kept the speed until the finish line and I am now back in the Gold jersey as race leader. If you see the guys that are riding here, it is a really strong peloton with some time trial specialists such as Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins. So, it's awesome to get a victory with such big competition. Now the goal is to keep the Gold jersey. First, I'm going to enjoy this win this evening with my teammates, and then we will plan for the next days. I have to pay attention all the time because with this race, if you lose focus for even a second and miss a move in the wind, and you are in the second group, your leadership is over. I had a good winter, the shape is good, and I am really happy with this result. I hope I can still improve in the months leading into the Classics, but I showed today I am going in the right direction."