South Africa’s Robert Hunter (Phonak) took a heavy tumble in yesterday’s third stage of the Tour of Qatar but, fortunately, without any broken bones or other serious injuries.

Nevertheless, he recovered to finish in the main bunch, albeit some half an hour down on the leaders.

It was a dramatic stage in many ways, with Team CSC breaking the race wide open and grabbing first and second places courtesy of Lars Michaelsen and Matti Breschel, who finished in that order.

They were some 80 seconds ahead of Marcus Ljungqvist (Liquigas-Bianchi). On the GC, team CSC riders- Michaelsen, Breschel and Guidi – are now in the top three places.

Michaelsen pointed to their preparation as the key to the team’s success, admitting that “ the team time trial training we’ve gone through during our training camps has proven to be ideal for this kind of race."

CSC’s race tactics were simple. "In the end we took turns attacking and it turned out that I was the one who was able to open a gap, and then Matti bridged up. For the remaining 11 kilometres we rode side by side towards the finish line, both pretty wrecked, but we got there. It was a very special day for us," finished Michaelsen.