Tour of Qatar Stage 5: Boonen, Terpstra Top 10, Keep 1-2 GC positions
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Niki Terpstra and Tom Boonen remain in the first two positions of the general classification after the 159km Tour of Qatar Stage 5 on Thursday. Boonen was the top OPQS finisher in a bunch sprint finale, taking 8th, while Terpstra placed 9th. Terpstra did a good job keeping himself near the front in the final meters after a roundabout, as the sprint organization for much of the peloton became a bit chaotic at that point.
As of the end of Tour of Qatar Stage 4, OPQS had all the jerseys and were also leaders of the team classification as they dictated the pace of the races, taking advantages of winds to shatter the peloton more than once. In Stage 5, however, OPQS was content allowing a breakaway to escape and preserving their energy as other teams chased.
OPQS currently has five riders in the top 10 of the GC, and seven in the top 20. Boonen is now in the points lead, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck remains in the White Pearl Jersey for best young rider. OPQS also still leads the team classification. They have one more stage to go — 113.5km Stage 6 — and surely the team will try to be a factor again as they've won three stages out of five so far.