By Shane Stokes in Doha, Qatar
Chris Sutton wheeled across the finish line holding his arm close to his chest. At first glance that suggested his collarbone was gone, but fortunately it turned out to be the case that his hand was sore after his final-kilometre fall.
"It happened really quick," he said. "I was sitting on Julian's wheel, that was one of the best places to be because he was sitting on Maggie. Then there was just a tip of wheels and we all went down.
"I landed hard on my elbow and my hands. It happened with less than 500 metres to go. We were in the perfect position, we had all the guys lined out and we had a perfect lead-out today. But it is just one of those things that happens."
One stage of the race remains and he is thus likely to try again on Friday's final leg. "I felt really good up to that point," he continued. "I felt really strong, every day I am getting better and better. Tomorrow is another day, though, I will try again."
David Millar agreed that things were going to plan until that point. "It was looking good," he said. "We are starting to know each other, figure out how each other races. Our neo-pro Martijn [Maaskant] has been getting better all the time, he is probably one of the strongest guys on the team. Up until now we hadn't planned to use him but we have been using him as our number one lead-out man, he was very impressive. It was all going like clockwork, but then the crash happened."
Backstedt was moving very rapidly and certainly the team's momentum suggested that Sutton was going to be in strong contention in the final 200 metres. "He was in a good position to sprint against the guys," said Millar. "He would certainly have had a fair mano-a-mano against the others, which is what you want."
See full coverage of stage five of the Tour of Qatar.
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