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Worlds: Sagan doubles up in Doha

Peter Sagan defended his world championship title Sunday in Doha, Qatar, winning a reduced sprint and a second straight rainbow jersey for Slovakia ahead of Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish and Belgium’s Tom Boonen.

A race many expected to be contested by a large bunch after a flat 257 kilometers was blown apart when a split formed in the peloton after some 80km of racing in desert crosswinds. More than half the field missed out on the selection.

Sagan made the most of the opportunity to battle a much-diminished field of rivals, powering to a clear victory on the finishing straight.

“I don’t believe it. I’m still in the shock. I’m very happy,” said Sagan, who will join Bora – Hansgrohe in 2017 after two years with Tinkoff.

Top 10

  • 1. Peter SAGAN, (SVK), in 5:40:43
  • 2. Mark CAVENDISH, (GBR), at :00
  • 3. Tom BOONEN, (BEL), at :00
  • 4. Michael MATTHEWS, (AUS), at :00
  • 5. Giacomo NIZZOLO, (ITA), at :00
  • 6. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, (NOR), at :00
  • 7. Alexander KRISTOFF, (NOR), at :00
  • 8. William BONNET, (FRA), at :00
  • 9. Niki TERPSTRA, (NED), at :00
  • 10. Greg VAN AVERMAET, (BEL), at :00

Brayan Ramirez (Colombia), Nick Dougall (South Africa), Natnael Berhane (Eritrea), Ryan Roth (Canada), Anass Aït El Abdia (Morocco), Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukraine), and Rene Corella (Mexico) formed the day’s early breakaway, opening up a substantial gap over the field in the first half of the race as the riders traversed desert roads leading into the Pearl circuit. The advantage fell quickly, however, when the bunch split into two groups after a gap formed just in front of the German train in a lined-out peloton, cracking the race wide open.

“There was a point in the crosswinds where I was the last one who entered in the group,” Sagan said.

With the Belgian, Australian, and Italian teams injecting most of the pace, the newly formed front selection from the peloton swept up the early break half an hour after the big split. From there, the lead group of around 30 riders quickly extended its advantage, with the leaders of the French and German squads among those caught behind. The gap was well over a minute with 120km left to race, and up to two minutes with 70km left. With 30km left it was clear that those in the lead group would contest the win amongst themselves.

Niki Terpstra tried his luck with a brief attack inside the final 10km, but he was almost immediately marked, and quickly took his foot off the gas. From there until just two kilometers remained, it was a mostly compact group at the front of the race.

Tom Leezer of the Netherlands attempted a solo escape as the riders approached flamme rouge, initially opening up a small gap. The Belgian team got organized at the head of affairs inside the final kilometer, however, sweeping up Leezer and setting up a messy sprint to the finish line.

In the ensuing high-speed battle on the finishing straight, Cavendish let go of the wheel of his lead out man Adam Blythe to slot in behind Sagan, but then found himself momentarily caught in traffic as the riders wound up to speed. That was all the window Sagan needed. The 26-year-old reigning champ exploded past his rivals on the right side of the road to take a convincing second world title in as many years.

“I told myself it would be stupid to attack,” Sagan said of his decision to hold out for the sprint. “I have nothing to lose, and yeah, it just happens. I was thinking, ‘Stay cool, stay on the wheel, you don’t have to work.’ I have one shot, so let’s make it a good one.”

That plan went off without a hitch for the defending champ. Things didn’t work out quite so well for Cavendish.

“I got boxed in, it’s stupid — I never got boxed in,” a frustrated Cavendish said. “I wanted to follow Peter.

“I’m disappointed. The Belgians rode good, the Italians rode good just to keep the Germans away. Adam Blythe rode well. I’m pretty disappointed. I know I won silver and I should be happy with that, but I should have won this race.”

Sagan’s repeat world title puts him in rare company as one of just six riders to ever claim back-to-back rainbow jerseys. Italy’s Paolo Bettini was the last rider to pull off the rainbow repeat, winning in 2006 and 2007.

Results

  • 1. Peter SAGAN, (SVK), in 5:40:43
  • 2. Mark CAVENDISH, (GBR), at :00
  • 3. Tom BOONEN, (BEL), at :00
  • 4. Michael MATTHEWS, (AUS), at :00
  • 5. Giacomo NIZZOLO, (ITA), at :00
  • 6. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, (NOR), at :00
  • 7. Alexander KRISTOFF, (NOR), at :00
  • 8. William BONNET, (FRA), at :00
  • 9. Niki TERPSTRA, (NED), at :00
  • 10. Greg VAN AVERMAET, (BEL), at :00
  • 11. Jacopo GUARNIERI, (ITA), at :00
  • 12. Adam BLYTHE, (GBR), at :00
  • 13. Natnael BERHANE, (ERI), at :04
  • 14. Jurgen ROELANDTS, (BEL), at :09
  • 15. Ryan ROTH, (CAN), at :09
  • 16. Truls KORSAETH, (NOR), at :09
  • 17. Thomas LEEZER, (NED), at :09
  • 18. Nick DOUGALL, (RSA), at :09
  • 19. Michal KOLÁR, (SVK), at :13
  • 20. Elia VIVIANI, (ITA), at :14
  • 21. Mathew HAYMAN, (AUS), at :21
  • 22. Anasse AIT EL ABDIA, (MAR), at 2:48
  • 23. Oliver NAESEN, (BEL), at 4:00
  • 24. Jasper STUYVEN, (BEL), at 4:00
  • 25. Daniele BENNATI, (ITA), at 4:00
  • 26. Alexander PORSEV, (RUS), at 5:26
  • 27. Aidis KRUOPIS, (LTU), at 5:26
  • 28. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, (ARG), at 5:26
  • 29. Magnus Cort NIELSEN, (DEN), at 5:26
  • 30. Sven erik BYSTRØM, (NOR), at 5:26
  • 31. Yauheni HUTAROVICH, (BLR), at 5:26
  • 32. Nacer BOUHANNI, (FRA), at 5:26
  • 33. Imanol ERVITI, (ESP), at 5:26
  • 34. Marco HALLER, (AUT), at 5:26
  • 35. Yukiya ARASHIRO, (JPN), at 5:26
  • 36. Michael SCHÄR, (SUI), at 5:26
  • 37. Dylan GROENEWEGEN, (NED), at 5:26
  • 38. Stefan KUENG, (SUI), at 5:26
  • 39. Juraj SAGAN, (SVK), at 5:26
  • 40. Maciej BODNAR, (POL), at 5:26
  • 41. Iljo KEISSE, (BEL), at 5:26
  • 42. André GREIPEL, (GER), at 5:26
  • 43. Taylor PHINNEY, (USA), at 5:26
  • 44. Koen DE KORT, (NED), at 5:26
  • 45. Zdenek STYBAR, (CZE), at 5:26
  • 46. Manuel QUINZIATO, (ITA), at 5:26
  • 47. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, (BEL), at 5:26
  • 48. Dylan VAN BAARLE, (NED), at 5:26
  • 49. Ben SWIFT, (GBR), at 5:26
  • 50. Mitchell DOCKER, (AUS), at 5:26
  • 51. Zakkari DEMPSTER, (AUS), at 5:33
  • 52. Scott THWAITES, (GBR), at 5:33
  • 53. Robin CARPENTER, (USA), at 6:03
  • DNF Jens KEUKELEIRE, (BEL)
  • DNF Mauro Abel RICHEZE, (ARG)
  • DNF Mekseb DEBESAY, (ERI)
  • DNF Ryan MULLEN, (IRL)
  • DNF Marc SARREAU, (FRA)
  • DNF Arnaud DEMARE, (FRA)
  • DNF Hugo HOULE, (CAN)
  • DNF Gediminas BAGDONAS, (LTU)
  • DNF Dmitriy GRUZDEV, (KAZ)
  • DNF David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, (ESP)
  • DNF Jack BAUER, (NZL)
  • DNF Francisco José VENTOSO ALBERDI, (ESP)
  • DNF Luis Angel MATE MARDONES, (ESP)
  • DNF Reto HOLLENSTEIN, (SUI)
  • DNF Alexey LUTSENKO, (KAZ)
  • DNF Youcef REGUIGUI, (ALG)
  • DNF Fumiyuki BEPPU, (JPN)
  • DNF Nikolas MAES, (BEL)
  • DNF Joseph ROSSKOPF, (USA)
  • DNF Fabian LIENHARD, (SUI)
  • DNF Carlos BARBERO CUESTA, (ESP)
  • DNF Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, (ESP)
  • DNF Bernhard EISEL, (AUT)
  • DNF Dion SMITH, (NZL)
  • DNF Matt BRAMMEIER, (IRL)
  • DNF Lukasz WISNIOWSKI, (POL)
  • DNF Antoine DUCHESNE, (CAN)
  • DNF Vegard Stake LAENGEN, (NOR)
  • DNF Daniel HOELGAARD, (NOR)
  • DNF Michael MORKOV, (DEN)
  • DNF Lars Ytting BAK, (DEN)
  • DNF Guillaume BOIVIN, (CAN)
  • DNF Jos VAN EMDEN, (NED)
  • DNF Matti BRESCHEL, (DEN)
  • DNF Christopher JUUL JENSEN, (DEN)
  • DNF John DEGENKOLB, (GER)
  • DNF Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, (RUS)
  • DNF Marcel KITTEL, (GER)
  • DNF Sonny COLBRELLI, (ITA)
  • DNF Jasha SÜTTERLIN, (GER)
  • DNF Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, (LUX)
  • DNF Christophe LAPORTE, (FRA)
  • DNF Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, (POR)
  • DNF Tony MARTIN, (GER)
  • DNF Grégory RAST, (SUI)
  • DNF Bob JUNGELS, (LUX)
  • DNF Nils POLITT, (GER)
  • DNF Sam BENNETT, (IRL)
  • DNF Heinrich HAUSSLER, (AUS)
  • DNF Sergiy LAGKUTI, (UKR)
  • DNF Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, (DEN)
  • DNF Soufiane HADDI, (MAR)
  • DNF Azzedine LAGAB, (ALG)
  • DNF Alexey VERMEULEN, (USA)
  • DNF Chad HAGA, (USA)
  • DNF Clint HENDRICKS, (RSA)
  • DNF Ryan GIBBONS, (RSA)
  • DNF Daniel TUREK, (CZE)
  • DNF Andriy VASYLYUK, (UKR)
  • DNF Mihkel RÄIM, (EST)
  • DNF Vitaliy BUTS, (UKR)
  • DNF Edwin Alcibiades AVILA VANEGAS, (COL)
  • DNF Omar Alberto MENDOZA CARDONA, (COL)
  • DNF Ian STANNARD, (GBR)
  • DNF Maxim AVERIN, (AZE)
  • DNF Lukasz OWSIAN, (POL)
  • DNF Maciej PATERSKI, (POL)
  • DNF Matti MANNINEN, (FIN)
  • DNF Geraint THOMAS, (GBR)
  • DNF Danny VAN POPPEL, (NED)
  • DNF Mark RENSHAW, (AUS)
  • DNF Adrian BANASZEK, (POL)
  • DNF Stephen CUMMINGS, (GBR)
  • DNF Sebastian LANGEVELD, (NED)
  • DNF Luka PIBERNIK, (SLO)
  • DNF Jiri POLNICKY, (CZE)
  • DNF Tom DUMOULIN, (NED)
  • DNF Fabio SABATINI, (ITA)
  • DNF Carlos Eduardo ALZATE ESCOBAR, (COL)
  • DNF Adam DE VOS, (CAN)
  • DNF Ramirez chacon BRAYAN STIVEN, (COL)
  • DNF Ruslan TLEUBAYEV, (KAZ)
  • DNF Daniel OSS, (ITA)
  • DNF Andzs FLAKSIS, (LAT)
  • DNF Yoann OFFREDO, (FRA)
  • DNF Ioannis TAMOURIDIS, (GRE)
  • DNF Cyril LEMOINE, (FRA)
  • DNF Anton VOROBYEV, (RUS)
  • DNF Karol DOMAGALSKI, (POL)
  • DNF Maxim BELKOV, (RUS)
  • DNF Fabricio FERRARI BARCELO, (URU)
  • DNF Silvan DILLIER, (SUI)
  • DNF Sergey LAGUTIN, (RUS)
  • DNF Andrei NECHITA, (ROU)
  • DNF Martin ELMIGER, (SUI)
  • DNF Pirmin LANG, (SUI)
  • DNF Juan Jose LOBATO DEL VALLE, (ESP)
  • DNF Kristoffer SKJERPING, (NOR)
  • DNF Diego RUBIO, (ESP)
  • DNF Andriy KULYK, (UKR)
  • DNF Jonathan CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, (ESP)
  • DNF Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, (LTU)
  • DNF Luke ROWE, (GBR)
  • DNF Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, (COL)
  • DNF Walter Alejandro VARGAS ALZATE, (COL)
  • DNF Daniel MCLAY, (GBR)
  • DNF Adrien PETIT, (FRA)
  • DNF Geoffrey SOUPE, (FRA)
  • DNF Luke DURBRIDGE, (AUS)
  • DNF Caleb EWAN, (AUS)
  • DNF Steele VON HOFF, (AUS)
  • DNF Matteo TRENTIN, (ITA)
  • DNF Sondre HOLST ENGER, (NOR)
  • DNF Roman MAIKIN, (RUS)
  • DNF Eric MARCOTTE, (USA)
  • DNF Vojtech HACECKY, (CZE)
  • DNF Alois KANKOVSKY, (CZE)
  • DNF Frantisek SISR, (CZE)
  • DNF Andrii BRATASHCHUK, (UKR)
  • DNF Mykhaylo KONONENKO, (UKR)
  • DNF José GONÇALVES, (POR)
  • DNF Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, (POR)
  • DNF Grega BOLE, (SLO)
  • DNF Luka MEZGEC, (SLO)
  • DNF Metkel EYOB, (ERI)
  • DNF Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT, (ERI)
  • DNF Issak TESFOM OKUBAMARIAM, (ERI)
  • DNF Meron TESHOME HAGOS, (ERI)
  • DNF Alo JAKIN, (EST)
  • DNF Gert JOEAAR, (EST)
  • DNF Salaheddine MRAOUNI, (MAR)
  • DNF Abderrahmane Mehdi HAMZA, (ALG)
  • DNF Ryan ANDERSON, (CAN)
  • DNF Siarhei PAPOK, (BLR)
  • DNF Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, (BLR)
  • DNF Francisco CHAMORRO, (ARG)
  • DNF Maris BOGDANOVICS, (LAT)
  • DNF Burr HO, (HKG)
  • DNF Bonaventure UWIZEYIMANA, (RWA)
  • DNF Rene CORELLA, (MEX)
  • DNF Hassen BEN NASSER, (TUN)
  • DNF Tedros REDAE, (ETH)
  • DNF Jonas AHLSTRAND, (SWE)
  • DNF Myagmarsuren BAASANKHUU, (MGL)

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