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Tom Boonen Victorious in Stage 1 of 2012 Tour of Qatar

News & Results

02/5/2012| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Tom Boonen sprints in Qatar. Photo copyright Tim de Waele.
Tom Boonen sprints in Qatar. Photo copyright Tim de Waele.

Tom Boonen Victorious in Stage 1 of 2012 Tour of Qatar

Belgian Tom Boonen won the opening stage of the 2012 Tour of Qatar earlier today finishing four seconds ahead of Adam Blythe of Great Britain.

Belgian Tom Boonen won the opening stage of the 2012 Tour of Qatar earlier today finishing four seconds ahead of Adam Blythe of Great Britain.

The former world road racing champion, who is riding for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, completed the 88.5-mile stage 1 in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 22 seconds.

Team BMC Racing's Blythe was followed by Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale, six seconds back in third. American Tyler Farrar of Team Garmin-Barracuda was fourth.

British rider Mark Cavendish, who according to a team spokesman was sick when he arrived in Doha and didn't train on Saturday, finished 51st and 10 seconds behind Boonen. Cavendish, riding for Sky Procycling this season is the world road race champion.

Boonen is looking for his fourth title at the Tour of Qatar after wins in 2006, 2008 and 2009 in the Gulf nation. Sunday's win was his 19th stage victory at the Tour of Qatar.

"It was a very good stage for me. We were working very hard." Boonen said happy with his performance. "I only got here on Friday and was very tired. But I finished the day with a victory so that is pleasing."

The race came down to the last 30 yards, when seven riders, including Boonen, were in position to go for the win.

"It was unbelievable," Boonen said after the finish and added "Near the finish you always form a group and everybody is always tired. But today that was not the case. Nobody seemed tired. It was a strong finish,"

Blythe said he was just happy to finish second.

"I wasn't so sure that I'd do so well. I was hoping for a top five, so I am happy," Blythe commented and continued "I am sure we will be looking to finish the job in the next few days. I got the opportunity so I took it. We will see what happens. Anything can happen from now on."

On Monday, the riders will compete in a seven-mile time trial around Qatar's iconic Losail International Circuit, the venue of an annual Moto Grand Prix race.

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