José Joaquín Rojas profited on Sunday from a bunch sprint with no real dominators to open his 2015 account and continue the Movistar Team's magnificent start of the season. The Spaniard became the first leader of the 14th Tour of Qatar with a remarkable final rush, lacking any opposition in the almost 300 meters he stayed on the front, to beat Boonen (EQS), Demare (FDJ) and Sagan (CAN) in a day where head winds threatened to turn the day's gallop into a nocturne one.
Two zones of crosswinds -firstly halfway through the race, after two opening hours at just 30kph average, and a latter one with 15km to go- reduced the bunch to about 50 riders, with two of the Blues inside: Alejandro Valverde, well into the mix with some strong turns before the final kick, and Rojas, who stayed protected against the win practically until the last kilometer.
Getting past the wheel of the Etixx riders leading out the sprint, Rojas did not leave any chance to his opponents and claimed his 9th victory as pro rider, also taking the relay on team-mate Fran Ventoso (2004) as the latest Spanish to claim a triumph on Qatari soil. The Murcian will wear gold tomorrow at the 194km stage two, northbounds from Al Wakra to Al Khor Corniche.