Tom Boonen and his Quick Step team continued their domination at the Tour of Qatar on Monday, with the former world champion winning the first road stage from Al Zubarah to the Doha Golf Club after ripping the peloton to shreds with the help of a strong tailwind.
Quick Step won the 6km opening time trial on Sunday and Boonen let domestique Matteo Tosatto cross the line first and pull on the gold leader?s jersey, but he was not so generous with his rivals on Monday.
He forced a split in the peloton with six team mates after just three kilometres of the 137.5km stage, lifting the speed of the first hour to a painful 57km/h average.
Stage two. Photo: ISPA
The group of 24 riders was eventually caught after 62km, but Boonen and five Quick Step team mates went again after 105km, with only another seven riders (including Sliptream?s Magnus Backstedt) able to hang onto them.
Quick Step lead out the sprint and Boonen took his 13th win in Qatar beating Belgium?s Greg Van Avermaet (Silence) and Italian Danilo Napolitano (Lampre). The first chasing group finished 20 seconds behind with other riders scattered in the wind. Britain?s David Millar wisely stayed in the main peloton and finished 105th at 8-12. Thanks to his win, Boonen took the race lead from Tosatto.
|BOONEN IN QATAR
2004: One stage
2005: Two stages
2006: Four stages and overall
2007: Four stages and 2nd overall
Tuesday?s 147km stage from the Camel Race Track to the Qatar Foundation should be another battle across the Qatar desert, with north and south route expected to split the field into echelons.
Zl Zubarah-Doha Golf Club, 137km
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 2-28-37
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto
3. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre
4. Chris Sutton (Aus) Slipstream
5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto
6. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
7. Steven De Jongh (Bel) Quick Step all same time
8. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence-Lotto at 7sec
9. Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step same time
10. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step at 20sec
105. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 8-12
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 2-34-59
2. Steven De Jongh (Bel) Quick Step at 9sec
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto at 14sec
4. Chris Sutton (Aus) Slipstream at 15sec
5. Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step at 20sec
6. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto same time
7. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre at 21sec
8. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom at 26sec
9. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence-Lotto at 27sec
10. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step at 32sec
66. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 8-27
Tom Boonen took the stage and race lead. Photo: ISPA
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