Team Sky Wins 2010 Tour of Qatar Team Time Trial
Edvald Boasson Hagen will wear yellow in stage 2; Cervelo TestTeam relegated.
Edvald Boasson Hagen defied strong winds to take the yellow jersey on the opening day of the 2010 Tour of Qatar as his Sky team won Sunday's 8.2 kilometer team time trial.
The 22-year-old rider crossed the finish line in a time of nine minutes, 41 seconds. Boasson Hagen's Spanish teammate Juan Antonio Flecha won the silver jersey as the points leader while Britain's Geraint Thomas, also of Team Sky, was the fastest young rider.
Boasson Hagen, the 2009 Tour of Britain winner, commented "It is important to get a good start and we did that as a team. The team gets confidence when it starts well. Hopefully, this win will help us do well in the race. We had checked the course and we knew what to do. It was difficult to ride in this wind but we did really well."
Looking ahead, he added "Now we have to ensure that we are in the lead in the stages also."
Sky Team director Scott Sunderland said: "Technically, we did a great job. It was good team work from the start to finish. I am satisfied."
Garmin-Transitions, which initially finished in third spot, moved up to second after a rider with the Cervelo TestTeam was found guilty of an illegal maneuver, the UCI said. One minute was added to Cervelo's overall time of 9:49, relegating the team to the back of the pack.
"I spoke with Heinrich (Haussler) and Gabriel (Rasch) and they told me that the wind was coming from the right side and to avoid crashing into our team Heinrich was forced to touch Gabriel," Jens Zemke, Cervelo TestTeam sports director commented. "It wasn't done in an effort to make a better time - it was solely done to avoid a crash. Though it was just Heinrich and Gabriel who were involved and not our whole team, nevertheless the commissar thought that this was enough of an infraction and penalized whole team. With our second place result we had a really good chance to ride for the win this race. The riders are frustrated but we will keep on going."
Team Saxo Bank was lying third, ahead of Team HTC-Columbia and Team Quick Step, whose Belgian rider Tom Boonen won the Tour of Qatar last year and finished 20 seconds adrift of Boasson Hagen on Sunday.
Monday's second stage starts from the Camel Race Track and ends at the Qatar Foundation, a total distance of wee 147 kilometers.