Tour of Qatar: Niki Terpstra seals victory as Arnaud Demare claims final stage
Last Updated: 14/02/14 5:04pm
Niki Terpstra: Looking good for the Classics after Qatar success
Niki Terpstra safely negotiated the final stage to win the Tour of Qatar as Arnaud Demare topped the final sprint.
The battle for the gold jersey was decided in Doha with Terpstra (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) taking overall glory ahead of team-mate Tom Boonen.
Taking a lead of 17 seconds into the final day, the Dutchman just had to stay upright and out of trouble to claim victory, with Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) 20 and Team Sky's Ian Stannard 37 seconds behind respectively.
Mirroring his victory on the same stage in 2012, Demare demonstrated his class with a strong kick while a number of his main rivals, including Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol), were forced to sprint a longer distance around the final corner.
Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) took second, while closing ground all the way to the line Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky) ghosted through a gap to claim third in the mass sprint.
The final stage saw five riders combine to make up the break, clicking off 10 5.5-kilometre laps of the Doha circuit and ultimately making the peloton sweat at the finale.
Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing), Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing), Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) and Rafaa Chtioui (SkyDive Dubai) soaked up the intermediate sprints and held the peloton at bay until inside the final kilometre.
Bazzana made a late bid for freedom but there was no stopping a surging peloton eager to grab a slice of the glory in the final stage.
Team Sky had lent a helping hand to the chase with Christian Knees taking it up before Salvatore Puccio and Danny Pate drove the peloton into the final 10km.