Boonen takes Qatar stage victory
Mon, 07 Feb 12:32:00 2011
Tom Boonen romped to a comfortable victory on stage one of the Tour of Qatar in Al Khor Corniche to take the overall race lead.
The three-times Tour of Qatar winner claimed the stage for Quick Step at the end of a 145.5km run from Dukhan, ahead of Garmin-Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler with fellow Australian Mark Renshaw in third for HTC-Highroad.
Cavendish was distanced, as was prologue winner Lars Boom - suffering from a stomach problem - and that allowed Boonen to take the yellow jersey by four seconds from Renshaw with Fabian Cancellara a further four seconds back in third.
“This victory is my reward for all the hard work I’ve put in to returning to top form since my injury last year,” explained Boonen who recorded his 18th stage win in Qatar.
“From the very first kilometre the heat was on. My ciclocomputer gave readings as high as 75 kilometres an hour! The pack broke up almost immediately and only a few of us made it into the lead break.
"In the lead group there was great collaboration and we managed to repel a bridging of the gap by riders who were left in the second group. My success was just the best part of a very special day.”
Tour of Qatar : Stage 1
Tour of Qatar : ITW Tom Bo