Boonen keeps unblemished record in Qatar

Stage 4 in Qatar, and another Tom Boonen victory. The Belgian has been indestructible so far this se

Stage 4 in Qatar, and another Tom Boonen victory. The Belgian has been indestructible so far this se
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM The fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar resulted in yet another victory for leader Tom Boonen (Quick.Step), who has yet to be beaten in a race this year. Boonen sprinted to the win ahead of Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Murilo Fischer (Liquigas) outside the Doha Golf Club. The three were part of a 22 man group that finished five minutes ahead of another 24 riders, and a whopping 48 minutes ahead of the main peloton. On the general classification, Boonen has a 27 second gap over teammate Steven de Jongh, with two stages remaining. The 139.5 km stage started at the Camel Race Track under cloudy skies with a strong wind prevailing. It was a tailwind start, and that caused big splits in the peloton in the first five kilometres. Tom Boonen made the front group of around 30 riders, which had a sizeable representation from Quick.Step, Rabobank and T-Mobile. The notable absentee was Alessandro Petacchi (Milram), who was in a 25 man group chasing the leaders. The first sprint of the day at km 52.5 saw Eisel take the maximum points ahead of Mondory (Ag2R) and De Jongh. The gap between the two front groups was still just 31 seconds, but the leaders were working well and covered 58.5 km in the first hour. Petacchi's group wasn't given a chance to catch back on, and at km 80 the gap was up to 1'15. Sprint 2 after 93 km saw Mondory claim the six seconds in front of Eisel and Boonen. 12 km later, Petacchi's group managed to get within 44 seconds of the leaders, but then they cracked and left the 22 remaining in front to fight it out for the stage honours. Boonen wasn't to be denied the sprint victory, and for the third day in a row he was able to account for all his rivals. Brown and Fischer took second and third at the end of another fast day of racing. Tomorrow's fifth stage is between Al Zubarah and Mesaieed and is the longest one of the race at 160.5 km. Results 1 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick.Step) 2:54:54 2 Graeme Brown (Aus, Rabobank) 3 Murilo Fischer (Bra, Liquigas) 4 Lloyd Mondory (Fra, Ag2R Prvoyance) 5 Francisco Jos Ventoso (Spa, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 6 Aart Vierhouten (Ned, Skil-Shimano) 7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut, T-Mobile) 8 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned, Skil-Shimano) 9 Alexandre Pichot (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 10 Gregory Henderson (NZl, T-Mobile) General classification after stage 4 1 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick.Step) 9:27:52 2 Steven De Jongh (Ned, Quick.Step) 0:00:27 3 Bernhard Eisel (Aut, T-Mobile) 0:00:33 4 Murilo Fischer (Bra, Liquigas) 0:00:34 5 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel, Quick.Step) 0:00:36 6 Lloyd Mondory (Fra, Ag2R Prvoyance) 0:00:37 7 Gregory Henderson (NZl, T-Mobile) 0:00:42 8 Francisco Jos Ventoso (Spa, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 0:00:45 9 Aart Vierhouten (Ned, Skil-Shimano) 0:00:47 10 Andreas Klier (Ger, T-Mobile) 0:00:49 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
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