Boonen wins Tour of Qatar opener - Road Cycling UK

Expert road bike reviews and the latest road bike news, features and advice. Find rides & events, training articles and participate in our forums

Share

Road Cycling News

Boonen wins Tour of Qatar opener

Tom Boonen sprinted to victory on stage one of the Tour of Qatar, while Mark Cavendish did not contest the finale on his Team Sky debut having been struck down with illness in the build up to the race.

Tom Boonen records his first victory of 2012

Boonen endured an injury-ravaged season in 2011 but wasted little time in opening his 2012 account, beating Britain’s Adam Blythe (BMC Racing) and Peter Sagan of Slovakia (Liquigas-Cannondale) to move into the race lead.

Three-time Paris-Roubaix winner Boonen’s victory capped a superb day for Omega Pharma-QuickStep after British neo-pro Andy Fenn won the Trofeo Palma in Majorca.

“I am confident that I can still compete with all top sprinters out there, even though these days that is not my priority,” said Boonen. “Last year at this time I was struggling with pains in my left leg which stemmed from the knee operation I had.

“That dragged on for months and then I broke bones in my hand in the Tour of Spain. Today all that is behind me and at last I am free from injuries.”

The Belgian won ahead of Adam Blythe and Peter Sagan

World champion Cavendish’s Sky debut was in doubt after the 26-year-old arrived in the Middle East having fallen ill on the flight from London to Doha.

The pan-flat Tour of Qatar is traditionally a sprinters’ haven but the Manx Missile finished in 51st position having turned from team leader to domestique – and Sky directeur sportif declared himself happy with Cavendish’s selfless performance.

“He [Cavendish] was helping out his team-mates during the race, which was a pleasant surprise because we had told him he didn’t have to do anything if he didn’t feel up to it after his illness,” said De Jongh.

“Our only goal for him was that he finished the stage today and he did that comfortably.”

Discuss on the forum

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production