The 4th stage of the Tour of Qatar saw Jaco Venter go on the offensive, attacking with Dimitry Gruzdev (Astana) and Jarl Salomein (Topsport-Vlaanderen) after just 10km of racing. The trio built a lead of up to 3'45" at one stage before the prevailing winds ignited the chase from the peloton.
The escape was not to be despite the brave effort from the attackers. The sprinters teams nullified the gap with 18km remaining and a nervy bunch sprint then ensued. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were in the mix for the finale and with 8km we were in control of the peloton.
Coming into the finish though the fight for position intensified and in the end Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took the victory on the line, edging Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) into 2nd place and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) was 3rd across the line. Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) held on to his overall lead.
We went away after 10km. I was hoping for a lot of crosswind but it was all headwind so maybe it wasn't the best decision to be in the break because it was a really tough day. At some stages we were really fighting to just ride at 30km/h. I suppose we can say it was a good day of training.
Jaco Venter - Rider
Jaco Venter was away from kilometer 10, he fought all day and was caught in the final 20km. It was a fantastic ride by him today. Then there was a big sprint and we were part of it but unfortunately there was a big crash in front of Edvald so our riders lost each other. This caused us to be without a top result or even a top 10 but it is okay, the boys are riding well.
Jens Zemke - Head of Performance