Tour of Qatar: Another win for Boonen as race splits

Boonen wins stage 4 and strengthens his lead overall. Ian Stannard 10th on the stage

The 147 kilometres from Al Thakhira to Madinat Al Shamal was dominated by Tom Boonen’s Quick Step team and he took full advantage by holding off Tom Veelers (Project 1t4i) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) in a final sprint which featured just six riders.

The peloton was split by the crosswinds with just over 30km remaining but this time it was Omega Pharma-Quick Step who did the damage as around 20 riders made it into the front group. Three Team Sky riders forced their way into that selection, with Bernie Eisel, Flecha and Ian Stannard.

Heading into the final 10km, the front group had dwindled to sixteen riders and those numbers continued to be whittled down – with Adam Blythe (BMC Racing) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) among the more unlucky riders as they both suffered punctures. Cancellara unleashed his sprint first as he powered down the right of the road with Veelers on his wheel but Boonen had them both covered and surged clear to extend his astonishing record in the Tour of Qatar.

He now leads by 31 seconds from Farrar. Flecha’s fourth position moved him up to third overall, three seconds behind Farrar, while Eisel and Stannard both notched top 10s on the day, crossing the line in eighth and 10th respectively.

1. Tom Boonen Omega Pharma – Quickstep 03:03:14
2. Tom Veelers 1t4i zt. 90 24
3. Fabian Cancellara RadioShack – Nissan @st
4. Juan Antonio Flecha Sky Procycling @st
5. Gert Steegmans Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ 00:04
6. Nikolas Maes Omega Pharma – Quickstep @00:11
7. Yoann Offredo Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @00:14
8. Bernhard Eisel Sky Procycling @st
9. Tyler Farrar Team Garmin – Barracuda @st
10. Ian Stannard Sky Procycling @00:36


1.      Tom Boonen     Omega Pharma – Quickstep     09:50:50
2.      Tyler Farrar     Team Garmin – Barracuda     00:31
3.      Juan Antonio Flecha     Sky Procycling     00:34
4.      Gert Steegmans     Omega Pharma – Quickstep     00:36
5.      Bernhard Eisel     Sky Procycling     00:45
6.      Tom Veelers     1t4i     00:50
7.      Fabian Cancellara     RadioShack – Nissan     01:06
8.      Ramunas Navardauskas     Team Garmin – Barracuda     01:09
9.      Aidis Kruopis     GreenEdge Cycling Team     01:10
10.      Adam Blythe     BMC Racing Team     01:14