It is probably fair to say that the Tour of Qatar did not exactly go as planned for Britain's greatest ever cyclist, Sir Bradley Wiggins last week. The six-stage road race ended with no sign of Wiggins among the leading contenders, as Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands took overall honours, with Maciej Bodnar just six seconds behind in second and Alexander Kristoff a further 3 seconds back in third.

Britain's highest finisher was the much less heralded (outside of cycling circles that is) Ian Stannard in fourth place, only 12 seconds down on the overall race winner, beating the likes of Peter Sagan and Tom Boonen in the process.

Stannard's countryman Luke Rowe, also riding for Team Sky, was another top ten finisher for Britain in a highly respectable 7th place in the overall standings.

The sixth and final stage over 113.5km from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha on Friday, resulted in a stage win for the Belgium born, Sam Bennett who races for Ireland. He finished marginally in front of a whole host of riders in a bunch sprint finish, as Italian Andrea Guardini was credited with second place ahead of Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni in third, all three riders being given the same time. Britain's Adam Blythe for ORICA GreenEDGE was involved in the sprint but finished just outside the top positions in 6th place.

Terpstra was hugely relieved at the finish, retaining the title he had won twelve months previously after going into the final stage in the overall lead by just six seconds.

As it was, the first three positions overnight remained unchanged after the final stage. Kristoff could count himself slightly unfortunate not to take the title though, after winning three of the individual stages over the week on days two, four and five.

The crucial advantage for Terpstra was attained on the 10km time trial held on day three, which had been anticipated as being set up for Wiggins to power through, given his proven pedigree over similar stages in the past, but proved to be slightly too short for him to gain an advantage.

The Olympic champion over the time trial from London 2012 was unable to show his usual finesse, finishing a slightly disappointing third behind both Terpstra and Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, 9 seconds down on the stage winner. It was the first time that Wiggins had worn the world champion's rainbow jersey in competition, but sadly for him that did not provide the extra motivation he needed on the day.

Kristoff lost 44 seconds to Terpstra on that stage and it ultimately proved too big a gap for him to make up, despite still having a highly successful tour.

Wiggins' main target for the early season is April's Paris-Roubaix race, which will be his final race for Team Sky before he switches his focus back to the track, as he bids for a place on the GB team for Rio in 2016.