Tour of Qatar kicked off on a high note, with an extremely fast pace on the opening stage. Average speed of 50km/h made things hard for the “orange squad”, as the top finisher, Adrian Kurek, took 25th place.
It was an unusual Stage 1 of Tour of Qatar. There was no traditional breakaway of the day, since the peloton split apart in the cross winds early on. 21-man group emerged in the front, with some of the biggest names making the break – Mark Cavendish, Andrea Guardini, Sacha Modolo, Alexander Kristoff, Edward Boason Hagen and Tyler Farrar. CCC Sprandi Polkowice didn’t manage to send its rider in the lead.
The race was on right from the start, as the average speed in the first two hours of racing, reached unprecedented 52 km/h. The gap leveled out at one minute and it was maintained until the very end.
The pace in the front didn’t fade and few riders were getting dropped. The winner came out of the leading, 16-man group and Mark Cavendish was the one who had the most power left in his legs. He outsprinted Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and Andrea Guardini (Astana).
Adrian Kurek was the only CCC Sprandi Polkowice representative in the main bunch and crossed the line in 25th place, 1:43 behind.