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Break catches out NZ cyclists in Qatar

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/10/2016

New Zealand riders Jack Bauer and Dion Smith missed a key break and failed to finish the men's road race at the world championships in Qatar.

Slovakian Peter Sagan defied searing heat and strong crosswinds in Doha to become the first rider since 2007 to retain his title with a perfectly timed sprint.

Sagan joined a decisive early split in the field and kept a low profile before heading off fellow-sprint specialists Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) and Tom Boonen (Belgium) at the line.

Bauer and Smith, were caught out, like much of the field, by the major break which splintered the field after a dawdling slow pace for the first 80km of the 258km race. They pulled out with two laps remaining.

Only 50 of the 200 riders completed the 258km race, with the remarkable Peter Sagan (SVK) holding off pre-race favourite Mark Cavendish (GBR) and Tom Boonen (BEL) in the sprint finish to retain his world championship title.

It is the end of the season for Bauer, who heads to Belgium next week to meet up with his new World Tour team, Etixx Quickstep.

Smith remains in the region to race with fellow-Kiwi Hayden McCormick for the ONE Pro Cycling team in the Tour of Abu Dhabi in the final tour of the season.

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