Tour of Qatar: Sam Bennett wins final stage as Niki Terpstra seals overall victory and Ian Stannard takes fourth
Last Updated: 13/02/15 4:41pm
Ireland’s Sam Bennett claimed the biggest win of his career by sprinting to victory on the final stage of the Tour of Qatar as Niki Terpstra sealed the overall title.
Bennett, who rides for German team Bora-Argon 18, beat Andrea Guardini into second place and Nacer Bouhanni into third at Doha Corniche.
The 24-year-old won a stage of Bayern Rundfahrt last year, which is in the same second tier of stage races as the Tour of Qatar, but the fact he defeated the likes of Bouhanni, Peter Sagan and Alexander Kristoff stands his latest win out as his best.
He said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the win. The first win of the season is always the hardest and to get it while racing against the world's best makes it that bit more sweeter."
Terpstra finished in the peloton to complete a six-second overall victory over runner-up Maciej Bodnar, while Kristoff had to settle for third, nine seconds back.
Kristoff falls short
The Norwegian, who started the day 11 seconds adrift, picked up two bonus seconds at an intermediate sprint but could only finish 19th on the day and consequently missed out on the further bonus seconds he needed to climb up the standings.
It is the second year in succession that Terpstra has won the Tour of Qatar and the result gives him the perfect boost ahead of spring classics, which start at the end of this month.
Britain’s Ian Stannard crossed the line in the main bunch in 34th place to consolidate fourth place overall, 12 seconds down, while fellow Team Sky rider Luke Rowe ended the race in seventh, 33 seconds adrift.
Terpstra said: "I came here to defend the title, or for sure go for a good placement. I have good condition now and knowing this gives me confidence for my next races."
Sir Bradley Wiggins lost time for the sixth day in a row, crossing the finish line 56 seconds down in 104th place to end the race 78th overall, 13min 20sec behind Terpstra.
Stage six result
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18, 2:24:03
2 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana, same time
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, st
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
5 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka, st
6 Adam Blythe (GB) Orica-GreenEdge, st
7 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
9 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing, st
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar, st
25 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
34 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, st
39 Luke Rowe (GB) Team Sky, st
104 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +56
Final general classification
1 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step, 17:36:48
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +6secs
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, +9
4 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, +12
5 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, +19
6 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo, +31
7 Luke Rowe (GB) Team Sky, +33
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling, +39
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step, same time
10 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana, +41