Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) narrowly beat his sprint rivals to win stage two of the 2011 Tour of Qatar on Tuesday – but it wasn’t enough to unseat Tom Boonen (Quick Step) at the top of the overall classification.
Haussler pipped Daniele Bennati (Leopard-Trek) to the line in the Doha Golf Club after a calmer day of racing thanks to the subsidence of the winds that blew apart the opening road stage on Monday.
It’s Haussler’s first win since taking a stage of the Tour of Switzerland last year, having suffered a disappointing season last year due to a persistent knee injury.
Leopard-Trek, headed up by world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, wound up the pace for Bennati into the finish but Haussler edged around him to take the win. Race leader and stage one winner Boonen got boxed in during the chaos to finish sixth.
A heavily-bandaged Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) finished just outside the top ten in 12th, with fellow Brit Roger Hammond (Garmin-Cervelo) in 13th.
Boonen leads Haussler in the overall classification by just one second. Briton Jeremy Hunt maintained his ninth position overall, 19 seconds behind Boonen.
Wednesday’s third road stage runs from Al Wakra to Mesaieed, totalling 150.5km. The six-day Tour of Qatar concludes on Friday, February 11.
Tour of Qatar 2011, stage two: Camel Race Track to Doha Golf Club, 135.5km
1. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo
2. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek
3. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha
4. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil-Shimano
6. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
7. Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Astana
8. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-ISD
9. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step
10. Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard-Trek all same time
12. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad
13. Roger Hammond (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo at 1sec
3. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 4secs
4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard-Trek at 8secs
5. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Team Sky at 9secs
6. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek at 10secs
7. Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Cervelo at 16secs
8. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step at 17secs
9. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Team Sky at 19secs
10. Dominique Rollin (Can) Francaise des Jeux
Mark Cavendish, Stuart O’Grady, Juan Antonio Flecha and Tom Boonen at the stage start
Manuel Quinziato heads the early escape group
Heinrich Haussler wins the stage but lodges a complaint with fellow riders for the chaotic finish
Tour of Qatar 2011: Related links
Tour of Qatar 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index