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Boom bursts, Boonen takes over at Qatar

  • By Steve Frothingham
  • Published Feb. 7, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM EST

Boonen celebrates his 18th ToQ stage win.

Al KHOR CORNICHE, Qatar (VN) — Tom Boonen stretched out his long-unused sprinter’s legs on Monday, winning out of an 18-man breakaway to take the first stage of the Tour of Qatar and the overall lead.

Prologue winner Lars Boom (Rabobank) started strong on the windblown 146km stage, fighting his way into the early front echelons and protecting his lead by taking second in the first of two intermediate sprints.

Soon after that, however, the Dutchman felt stomach troubles coming on. He eventually had to drop out of the front group and make an unplanned roadside stop. He finished more than five minutes behind the winner.

Boonen (Quick Step), a three-time Qatar overall winner, missed much of last season due to injuries. His last win was at Tirreno-Adriatico last year. He said his last competitive sprint was on stage 4 of the 2010 Tour de Suisse, where he went down in a large crash just meters from the finish.

The stage went from Dukhan, on the western edge of the Qatar peninsula, near the Gulf of Bahrain, to the nation’s eastern shore at Al Khor Corniche. In between was nearly flat desert, with a few scrub trees, the occasional camel and a few settlements. Very strong winds buffeted the race from all directions.

The day started with a tailwind that had the pack traveling 70kph at times, covering 54.8km (34 miles) in the first hour. Several moves went off the front early. Boonen, Boom, second-placed Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) were represented in all of them.

A heavily bandaged Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) made it into one early front group that gained a 10-second lead, but he did not make the final 18-man selection, which came together at about the 30km mark. Cavendish finished more than 13 minutes behind the winning break.

Renshaw, known as Cavendish’s leadout man at the grand tours, was riding for himself. He started the day in 12th, nine seconds out of the lead. After winning the first of two intermediate sprints and placing second in the other, he was just three seconds away from the golden leader’s jersey.

Boonen did not chase the intermediate sprint bonuses. “I never go for the intermediates,” he told VeloNews. “There is no victory in that!”

In the S-turn finishing straight, Renshaw jumped out early, then slowed with 250 meters to go, forcing Boonen to come around and start his sprint earlier than he would have liked. The Belgian quickly opened a gap and, tucked up hard against the left fencing, he held off Garmin-Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler. Renshaw was third.

“I just told myself don’t die, don’t die, don’t die,” Boonen said of his long sprint. “I thought I was slowing down, but I finished I think 10 meters ahead of the second guy, so it wasn’t bad at all.”

Boonen’s decision to skip the intermediate sprints paid off when he took a 10-second bonus with the stage win. Renshaw’s third place on the stage was worth four seconds, and he’s now second on the GC, at four seconds. Cancellara didn’t get any bonuses, but finished in the front group of 18 and is now third on GC.

Stage 2 is held on some of the same roads as Monday’s stage. The 135.5km route goes from the Camel Race Track in the middle of the country, heads mostly north for 50km, then turns south to finish at the Doha Golf Club in Doha.

Race notes

  • Quick Step’s Nikolas Maes took over the Best Young Rider lead from Alex Dowsett, who missed the break. Despite not going for any intermediate sprints, Boonen also leads the points competition. Leopard Trek leads the team competition
  • Cancellara said he had a max speed of 81kph (50mph), probably early in the race.
  • Boom told VeloNews that his team director discouraged him from pursuing a startline rider protest against the radio ban. Other riders also told VeloNews that team officials had discouraged it after officials indicated that they would enforce the rule. La Gazzetta della Sport reported that ASO, owner of the Tour of Qatar, was taking a hard line on the rule and would disqualify any riders who raced with radios.
  • Many riders apparently did not get enough training from the sub-3-hour stage. Most of the BMC, Astana and Leopard Trek teams rode the 40km back to Doha on the highway. Leopard Trek was motorpacing behind a team truck when VeloNews passed them.
  • Wesley Sulzberger (FDJ) did not start the stage and Martin Reimer (Skil-Shimano) abandoned during the stage.

Stage 1

  • 1. Tom Boonen, Quick Step Cycling Team, in 2:59:29
  • 2. Heinrich Haussler, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
  • 3. Mark Renshaw, Htc – Highroad, at s.t.
  • 4. Daniele Bennati, Team Leopard-Trek, at s.t.
  • 5. Graeme Brown, Rabobank Cycling Team, at s.t.
  • 6. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Sky Procycling, at s.t.
  • 7. Dominique Rollin, Fdj, at s.t.
  • 8. Roger Hammond, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
  • 9. Andreas Klier, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
  • 10. Stuart O’grady, Team Leopard-Trek, at s.t.
  • 11. Marcus Burghardt, Bmc Racing Team, at s.t.
  • 12. Jérémy Hunt, Sky Procycling, at s.t.
  • 13. Fabian Cancellara, Team Leopard-Trek, at s.t.
  • 14. Gabriel Rasch, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
  • 15. Gert Steegmans, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 2:59:39
  • 16. Bernhard Eisel, Htc – Highroad, at 2:59:51
  • 17. Nikolas Maes, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:00:08
  • 18. Johan Van Summeren, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:00:08
  • 19. Stijn Neirynck, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:04:30
  • 20. Denis Galimzyanov, Katusha Team, at 3:04:30
  • 21. Nikolay Trusov, Katusha Team, at 3:04:30
  • 22. Stijn Vandenbergh, Katusha Team, at 3:04:30
  • 23. Koen De Kort, Skil-Shimano, at 3:04:30
  • 24. Roger Kluge, Skil-Shimano, at 3:04:30
  • 25. Patrick Gretsch, Htc – Highroad, at 3:04:30
  • 26. Maarten Tjallingii, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:04:30
  • 27. Lars Bak, Htc – Highroad, at 3:04:30
  • 28. Rick Flens, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:04:30
  • 29. Filippo Pozzato, Katusha Team, at 3:04:30
  • 30. Danilo Hondo, Lampre – Isd, at 3:04:30
  • 31. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, at 3:04:30
  • 32. Yoann Offredo, Fdj, at 3:04:30
  • 33. Ian Stannard, Sky Procycling, at 3:04:30
  • 34. Tom Stamsnijder, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:04:30
  • 35. Luca Paolini, Katusha Team, at 3:04:30
  • 36. Simon Clarke, Pro Team Astana, at 3:04:30
  • 37. Maarten Wynants, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:04:30
  • 38. Mirco Lorenzetto, Pro Team Astana, at 3:04:30
  • 39. Davide Vigano, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:04:30
  • 40. Lars Boom, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:04:30
  • 41. Andreas Stauff, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:04:30
  • 42. Francesco Failli, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 43. Patrik Sinkewitz, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 44. Davide Ricci Bitti, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 45. Diego Caccia, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 46. Andrea Guardini, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 47. Marco Bandiera, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 48. Francesco Chicchi, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 49. Dmytro Krivtsov, Lampre – Isd, at 3:11:59
  • 50. Giovanni Visconti, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 51. Oscar Gatto, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 52. Xavier Florencio Cabre, Geox – Tmc, at 3:11:59
  • 53. Kurt-asle Arvesen, Sky Procycling, at 3:11:59
  • 54. Théo Bos, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 55. Michael Van Staeyen, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:11:59
  • 56. Matteo Pelucchi, Geox – Tmc, at 3:11:59
  • 57. Lars-peter Nordhaug, Sky Procycling, at 3:11:59
  • 58. Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Katusha Team, at 3:11:59
  • 59. Maxim De Busschere, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:11:59
  • 60. Gatis Smukulis, Htc – Highroad, at 3:11:59
  • 61. Maxim Gourov, Pro Team Astana, at 3:11:59
  • 62. Greg Van Avermaet, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 63. Fréderique Robert, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 64. Wouter Weylandt, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:11:59
  • 65. Grega Bole, Lampre – Isd, at 3:11:59
  • 66. Niko Eeckhout, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:11:59
  • 67. Manuele Mori, Lampre – Isd, at 3:11:59
  • 68. Kenny Robert Van Hummel, Skil-Shimano, at 3:11:59
  • 69. Andriy Grivko, Pro Team Astana, at 3:11:59
  • 70. Simon Geschke, Skil-Shimano, at 3:11:59
  • 71. Albert Timmer, Skil-Shimano, at 3:11:59
  • 72. Alexander Kristoff, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 73. Leonardo Giordani, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:11:59
  • 74. Michael SchÄr, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 75. Danilo Wyss, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 76. Mark Mcnally, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:11:59
  • 77. Matthieu Ladagnous, Fdj, at 3:11:59
  • 78. William Bonnet, Fdj, at 3:11:59
  • 79. Frédéric Guesdon, Fdj, at 3:11:59
  • 80. Matt Brammeier, Htc – Highroad, at 3:11:59
  • 81. Mark Cavendish, Htc – Highroad, at 3:11:59
  • 82. Leif Hoste, Katusha Team, at 3:11:59
  • 83. Tomas Vaitkus, Pro Team Astana, at 3:11:59
  • 84. Andrew Fenn, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:11:59
  • 85. Russel Downing, Sky Procycling, at 3:11:59
  • 86. Tom Veelers, Skil-Shimano, at 3:11:59
  • 87. John Murphy, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 88. Karsten Kroon, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:11:59
  • 89. Alex Dowsett, Sky Procycling, at 3:11:59
  • 90. Daniel Lloyd, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:11:59
  • 91. Jack Bobridge, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:11:59
  • 92. Dennis Van Winden, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 93. Bram Tankink, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:11:59
  • 94. Marko Kump, Geox – Tmc, at 3:11:59
  • 95. Travis Meyer, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:11:59
  • 96. Dominic Klemme, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:11:59
  • 97. Jan Ghyselinck, Htc – Highroad, at 3:14:18
  • 98. Valentin Iglinskiy, Pro Team Astana, at 3:14:18
  • 99. Mikhail Ignatyev, Katusha Team, at 3:14:18
  • 100. Gediminas Bagdonas, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:14:18
  • 101. Manuel Quinziato, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:14:18
  • 102. Matteo Bono, Lampre – Isd, at 3:14:18
  • 103. Tanel Kangert, Pro Team Astana, at 3:14:18
  • 104. Gregory Joseph, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04
  • 105. Pieter Serry, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04
  • 106. Joost Posthuma, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:17:04
  • 107. Ronan Van Zandbeek, Skil-Shimano, at 3:17:04
  • 108. Geert Steurs, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04
  • 109. Sandy Casar, Fdj, at 3:17:04
  • 110. Vitaliy Kondrut, Lampre – Isd, at 3:17:04
  • 111. Kevin Claeys, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:17:04
  • 112. Sam Bennett, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:17:04
  • 113. Jelle Wallays, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04
  • 114. David Gutierrez, Geox – Tmc, at 3:17:04
  • 115. Anthony Geslin, Fdj, at 3:17:04
  • 116. Preben Van Hecke, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04
  • 117. Marco Corti, Geox – Tmc, at 3:17:04
  • 118. Tomas Alberio, Geox – Tmc, at 3:17:04
  • 119. Daniele Ratto, Geox – Tmc, at 3:17:04
  • 120. Adriano Malori, Lampre – Isd, at 3:17:04
  • 121. Dmitry Kozontchuk, Geox – Tmc, at 3:17:04
  • 122. Kévin Van Impe, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:17:04
  • 123. Mark Cassidy, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:17:04
  • 124. Kris Boeckmans, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:17:04

GC after stage 1

  • 1. Tom Boonen, Quick Step Cycling Team, in 3:02:32
  • 2. Mark Renshaw, HTC – Highroad, at 3:02:36
  • 3. Fabian Cancellara, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:02:40
  • 4. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Sky Procycling, at 3:02:41
  • 5. Heinrich Haussler, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:02:43
  • 6. Daniele Bennati, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:02:48
  • 7. Andreas Klier, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:02:48
  • 8. Gert Steegmans, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:02:49
  • 9. Jérémy Hunt, Sky Procycling, at 3:02:51
  • 10. Dominique Rollin, Fdj, at 3:02:51
  • 11. Gabriel Rasch, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:02:52
  • 12. Stuart O’grady, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:02:52
  • 13. Roger Hammond, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:02:53
  • 14. Marcus Burghardt, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:03:00
  • 15. Bernhard Eisel, Htc – Highroad, at 3:03:12
  • 16. Graeme Brown, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:03:18
  • 17. Nikolas Maes, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:03:25
  • 18. Johan Van Summeren, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:03:30
  • 19. Lars Boom, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:07:35
  • 20. Maarten Wynants, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:07:45
  • 21. Roger Kluge, Skil-Shimano, at 3:07:46
  • 22. Tom Stamsnijder, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:07:47
  • 23. Maarten Tjallingii, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:07:49
  • 24. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, at 3:07:50
  • 25. Patrick Gretsch, Htc – Highroad, at 3:07:51
  • 26. Stijn Vandenbergh, Katusha Team, at 3:07:52
  • 27. Ian Stannard, Sky Procycling, at 3:07:52
  • 28. Andreas Stauff, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:07:53
  • 29. Danilo Hondo, Lampre – Isd, at 3:07:53
  • 30. Nikolay Trusov, Katusha Team, at 3:07:54
  • 31. Stijn Neirynck, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:07:54
  • 32. Simon Clarke, Pro Team Astana, at 3:07:54
  • 33. Davide Vigano, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:07:55
  • 34. Mirco Lorenzetto, Pro Team Astana, at 3:07:55
  • 35. Rick Flens, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:07:55
  • 36. Filippo Pozzato, Katusha Team, at 3:07:57
  • 37. Yoann Offredo, Fdj, at 3:07:57
  • 38. Lars Bak, Htc – Highroad, at 3:07:59
  • 39. Koen De Kort, Skil-Shimano, at 3:07:59
  • 40. Denis Galimzyanov, Katusha Team, at 3:07:59
  • 41. Luca Paolini, Katusha Team, at 3:08:01
  • 42. Tom Veelers, Skil-Shimano, at 3:15:11
  • 43. Alex Dowsett, Sky Procycling, at 3:15:12
  • 44. Tomas Vaitkus, Pro Team Astana, at 3:15:14
  • 45. Matt Brammeier, Htc – Highroad, at 3:15:15
  • 46. Jack Bobridge, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:15:16
  • 47. Grega Bole, Lampre – Isd, at 3:15:18
  • 48. Russel Downing, Sky Procycling, at 3:15:18
  • 49. John Murphy, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:19
  • 50. Théo Bos, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:15:19
  • 51. Daniel Lloyd, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:15:19
  • 52. William Bonnet, Fdj, at 3:15:20
  • 53. Albert Timmer, Skil-Shimano, at 3:15:20
  • 54. Dennis Van Winden, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:15:20
  • 55. Simon Geschke, Skil-Shimano, at 3:15:20
  • 56. Matthieu Ladagnous, Fdj, at 3:15:21
  • 57. Greg Van Avermaet, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:21
  • 58. Giovanni Visconti, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:21
  • 59. Patrik Sinkewitz, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:21
  • 60. Leif Hoste, Katusha Team, at 3:15:22
  • 61. Gatis Smukulis, Htc – Highroad, at 3:15:22
  • 62. Andrew Fenn, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:15:22
  • 63. Kurt-asle Arvesen, Sky Procycling, at 3:15:22
  • 64. Oscar Gatto, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:22
  • 65. Bram Tankink, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 3:15:22
  • 66. Maxim De Busschere, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:15:22
  • 67. Wouter Weylandt, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:15:23
  • 68. Manuele Mori, Lampre – Isd, at 3:15:23
  • 69. Travis Meyer, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 3:15:23
  • 70. Lars-peter Nordhaug, Sky Procycling, at 3:15:23
  • 71. Davide Ricci Bitti, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:23
  • 72. Michael Van Staeyen, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:15:24
  • 73. Andriy Grivko, Pro Team Astana, at 3:15:25
  • 74. Michael SchÄr, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:25
  • 75. Francesco Failli, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:25
  • 76. Niko Eeckhout, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:15:26
  • 77. Alexander Kristoff, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:26
  • 78. Maxim Gourov, Pro Team Astana, at 3:15:27
  • 79. Kenny Robert Van Hummel, Skil-Shimano, at 3:15:27
  • 80. Mark Mcnally, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:15:27
  • 81. Karsten Kroon, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:27
  • 82. Marko Kump, Geox – Tmc, at 3:15:27
  • 83. Danilo Wyss, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:15:28
  • 84. Dominic Klemme, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:15:28
  • 85. Xavier Florencio Cabre, Geox – Tmc, at 3:15:28
  • 86. Fréderique Robert, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:15:28
  • 87. Francesco Chicchi, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:15:29
  • 88. Marco Bandiera, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:15:29
  • 89. Andrea Guardini, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:29
  • 90. Frédéric Guesdon, Fdj, at 3:15:29
  • 91. Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Katusha Team, at 3:15:30
  • 92. Diego Caccia, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:31
  • 93. Dmytro Krivtsov, Lampre – Isd, at 3:15:31
  • 94. Matteo Pelucchi, Geox – Tmc, at 3:15:33
  • 95. Leonardo Giordani, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 3:15:35
  • 96. Mark Cavendish, Htc – Highroad, at 3:16:19
  • 97. Manuel Quinziato, Bmc Racing Team, at 3:17:36
  • 98. Tanel Kangert, Pro Team Astana, at 3:17:36
  • 99. Gediminas Bagdonas, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:17:37
  • 100. Jan Ghyselinck, Htc – Highroad, at 3:17:39
  • 101. Mikhail Ignatyev, Katusha Team, at 3:17:51
  • 102. Matteo Bono, Lampre – Isd, at 3:17:53
  • 103. Valentin Iglinskiy, Pro Team Astana, at 3:17:54
  • 104. Joost Posthuma, Team Leopard-Trek, at 3:20:22
  • 105. Jelle Wallays, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:23
  • 106. Anthony Geslin, Fdj, at 3:20:25
  • 107. Pieter Serry, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:26
  • 108. Tomas Alberio, Geox – Tmc, at 3:20:27
  • 109. Sam Bennett, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:20:28
  • 110. Kévin Van Impe, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 3:20:28
  • 111. Gregory Joseph, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:28
  • 112. Kevin Claeys, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:20:29
  • 113. Kris Boeckmans, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:29
  • 114. Sandy Casar, Fdj, at 3:20:30
  • 115. Ronan Van Zandbeek, Skil-Shimano, at 3:20:30
  • 116. Mark Cassidy, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 3:20:32
  • 117. Daniele Ratto, Geox – Tmc, at 3:20:32
  • 118. Adriano Malori, Lampre – Isd, at 3:20:33
  • 119. Vitaliy Kondrut, Lampre – Isd, at 3:20:35
  • 120. Geert Steurs, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:35
  • 121. Preben Van Hecke, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 3:20:36
  • 122. Dmitry Kozontchuk, Geox – Tmc, at 3:20:42
  • 123. David Gutierrez, Geox – Tmc, at 3:20:46
  • 124. Marco Corti, Geox – Tmc, at 3:20:50

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