It’s 1-0 in the Tom Boonen v. Alessandro Petacchi sprinters sweepstakes after the first showdown of
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) has triumphed in the season’s first sprint duel against Alessandro Petacchi, beating the Italian in stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar. The Belgian was the clear winner of the 135 km stage between Al Wakra and the Qatar Olympic Committee in Doha, and took over the race leadership in the process. Third place initially went to Graeme Brown (Rabobank), but the Australian was relegated by the race jury after causing Tom Steels (Predictor) to crash. Steels is now out with a broken collarbone, while Jean-Patrick Nazon (Ag2R) was elevated to third in the stage. The stage was held in windy conditions, and the first move went after 25 km when Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile) and Kenny De Haes (Chocolade Jacques) attacked. They weren’t allowed to escape, and a few kilometres later, Murilo Fischer (Liquigas) and Jerome Pineau (Bouygues) got clear. This duo gained a maximum lead of only 2’35 after 42 km, and were caught at km 58. The first bonus sprint of the day at km 73 was won by race leader Steven de Jongh (Quick.Step) ahead of his teammate Gert Steegmans and Aurlien Clerc (Bouygues). The post-sprint lull enabled Bert Roesems (Predictor), De Haes (Jacques), Piet Rooijakkers (Skil-Shimano), Christophe Riblon (Ag2R) and Dmitri Muravyev (Astana) to get clear after 76 km. This quintet managed a lead of 4’15 by km 94, but the sprinters teams were able to shut it down in the final 10 km. Quick.Step, Milram and Rabobank all fought to get their riders into position for the final sprint, and succeeded. Boonen had the best legs at the end, and forced Petacchi into settling for second. The incident between Brown and Steels marred the finish, as it means the unlucky Steels is again out of action for the early part of the season. Tomorrow’s third stage is between Dohat Salwa and Khalifa Stadium, over 140 km. Results 1 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick-Step) 3:01:50 2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita, Milram) 3 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra, Ag2R Prvoyance) 4 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned, Skil-Shimano) 5 Francesco Chicchi (Ita, Liquigas) 6 Lloyd Mondory (Fra, Ag2R Prvoyance) 7 Aurlien Clerc (Swi, Bouygues Telecom) 8 Francisco Jos Ventoso (Spa, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 9 Luciano Pagliarini (Bra, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 10 Robert Frster (Ger, Gerolsteiner) General classification after stage 2 1 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick-Step) 3:08:13 2 Steven De Jongh (Ned, Quick-Step) 0:00:07 3 Gert Steegmans (Bel, Quick-Step) 0:00:08 4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita, Milram) 0:00:09 5 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel, Quick-Step) 0:00:10 6 Marco Velo (Ita, Milram) 0:00:15 7 Marcel Sieberg (Ger, Milram) 8 Fabio Sacchi (Ita, Milram) 9 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita, Milram) 10 Francesco Chicchi (Ita, Liquigas) 0:00:17 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.