Report/Results: Stage 2 – Boonen wins


Omega Pharma Quickstep team manage one of the most impressive performances in the history of the race finishing with a win for Tom Boonen. Ian Stannard poised for challenge in TT

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes


The specialists in the Tour of Qatar, especially on windy stages, Omega Pharma Quickstep, managed one of the most impressive performances in the history of the race. With all eight of their riders in the decisive break, with fifty kilometres to go, the Belgian squad went on to capture a stage victory thanks to Tom Boonen, while his team mate Niki Terpstra kept his overall leader’s Golden Jersey.

100214 OPQS Tour Qatar-Stage2- Boonen Arrival ©Tim De Waele

Tom Boonen and his 21st in Qatar. Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

The 152 riders of the Tour of Qatar gathered at the Al Sheehaniya Camel Race track for the start of stage 2 and on the day’s menu was a 157 kilometre race to the Al Khor Corniche and a lot of wind to blow them about.

Despite several vain attempts, the peloton remained together until the 13-kilometre mark when the strong men pushed harder and several groups spread apart in echelons and up front were all the main favourites for the Tour.


Ian Stannard starts his time trial in the Tour of Britain at Knowsley where he was second to Bradley Wiggins.

The front group of around 40 riders was finally caught and the peloton came together again at kilometre 22 when two men decided to take off: former world champion Phillip Gilbert (BMC) and Reijnen (UHC). After enjoying a 1’20 advantage, the escapees were caught at km 33.

The first intermediate sprint (km 34.5) was claimed by Maes (OPQ) ahead of Golden Jersey Terpstra (OPQ) and Kruopis (OGE). At kilometre 89, Gatis Smukulis (KAT) tried his luck on his own. The Latvian saw his lead reach 2’20 at km 96.

After a right turn and as the pack headed east, the wind again played an essential part in the day’s stage and the Omega Pharma Quickstep made the best of it. Indeed after several Tinkoff-Saxo men pushed harder at the front, all eight riders of the Belgian squad managed to be in the front group as the pack broke up.

At the front, 23 riders pressed harder on the pedals and caught Smukulis at km 104. Other than the OPQS riders, the only others to survive were Popovych (TFR), Boom, Wagner (both BEL), Eisel, Rowe, Stannard (all SKY), Guarnieri (AST), Smukulis (KAT), Kruopis (OGE), Bennati, Breschel, Juul Jensen, Kroon and Morkov (TCS).

While the second bonus sprint (at km 121.5) was claimed by Roelandts (LOT) ahead of Boonen (OPG) and Terpstra (OPQ), a first chasing group including Greipel (LOT), Gilbert (BMC) and Démare (FDJ) was 25” adrift. Further back, it looked to be all over for Fabian Cancellara (TFR), trapped behind a fall and stranded in a dropped group, 1’45 behind. With 20 kilometres to go, the leaders had a 35” lead over the first group and 3’10 over the Cancellara bunch.

With the Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Belkin teams working perfectly together, the gap remained the same with 5 kilometres to go. Time had come to start considering a stage victory. The first attempt came from both Wagner and Lars Boom taking off just before the final straight but they were finally caught at the Red kite.

After that, there wasn’t much to be done against Qatar master Tom Boonen. The Belgian four-time winner of the event flew to his 21st stage win in the peninsula, beating Morkov and Roelandts to the line. “I always sprint to the line, because a few years ago I was beaten by a certain guy named Mark Cavendish at Scheldeprijs,” Boonen said with a smile. “I didn’t sprint to the line then. So, from that day on, I sprint until the last centimeter.”

“I am really happy about this result,” Boonen said. “This race always brings me luck. It’s only the second race after Tour de San Luis and I already have a victory. So I am happy about it especially after a stage like today, a stage that was really hard. From the beginning we went full gas together with Tinkoff and Sky, and we created an immediate action. We went away with about 20 guys, including eight guys of our team. So with that many riders in the group we kept riding during the stage. We only thought about riding, and not the sprint. At 5km to more or less I was talking with Nikolas Maes to try and organize a sprint when I suddenly I hit a hole in the road.”

“My saddle went down about 4cm, and was pointing downward. I broke also my wheels. I was super lucky that I didn’t have a flat tire or crash. But at that point it was too late to think about it or change the bike. I only thought about going fast for the sprint, not thinking about what could happen. There’s always something at Tour of Qatar to make this race hard — the wind, or an accident for example. So, considering that I am thrilled with this victory.”

Mørkøv said of his sprint, “I’m proud about being part of what we did today attacking in the cross wind 55 kilometers from the finish line and we managed to keep the chase group behind us. In the sprint, I was on Boonen’s wheel but he was simply too strong to go around. However, I’m happy with the result and especially with our way of riding today,” said Mørkøv before tomorrow’s 10.9 kilometer long time trial.

Seventh on the stage, Niki Terpstra keeps command of his GC leader’s Golden Jersey. The Dutchman now has a 5” lead over new Silver Jersey Roelandts and 14” over Boonen.


More known for his sprinting, Andy has a 14 second lead in the young riders competition from teammate  van Keirsbulck

Great Britain’s Andrew Fenn becomes the new best young rider of the Tour and will be wearing the White Pearl jersey tomorrow for what should be a decisive time-trial for overall victory. It’s in that time trial we may well see the following. The Trek team, licking their wounds after a crashfest for them on stage 2, say the stage is perfect for Fabian Cancellara to rebound from the team’s disastrous day, and come away with a sound result.

For team Sky, their aim is simple, to back Ian Stannard for a good overall position. He current sits in 7th place but whilst he says he has done any work on his time trial, his second behind Bradley Wiggins in the Tour of Britain last year shows he has the ability. Ian was present in a lot of RTTC midweek 10s during 2013 when at home and there are a lot of hopes on his shoulders.

The Sky DS Knaven says “The big goal is to try to finish on the podium in GC at the end of the week. Right now Ian is seventh so it’s looking good. There are some good specialists here with guys like Terpstra and Lars Boom. But Ian is riding strong so we will see what happens tomorrow.”

1 BOONEN Tom Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 03:30:07
2 MORKOV Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
3 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol
4 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
5 BRESCHEL Matti Tinkoff-Saxo
6 STANNARD Ian Team Sky
7 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
8 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol
9 BOOM Lars Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 00:05
10 KROON Karsten Tinkoff-Saxo

17 ROWE Luke Team Sky @ 18 secs
26 GREIPEL André Lotto Belisol @48
36 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team
58 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura 2.28
121 CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing 7.07
134 THWAITES Scott Team NetApp – Endura

1 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 06:43:30
2 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol 00:05
3 BOONEN Tom Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:14
4 MøRKøV Michael Tinkoff-Saxo 00:20
5 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol 00:26
6 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
7 STANNARD Ian Team Sky
8 BRESCHEL Matti Tinkoff-Saxo
9 BOOM Lars Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 00:31
10 KROON Karsten Tinkoff-Saxo

1 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 06:43:56
2 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:14
3 DéMARE Arnaud 00:48
4 MARKUS Barry Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
5 SELIG Rüdiger Team Katusha
6 WALLAYS Jelle Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
7 ROWE Luke Team Sky 01:58


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,