Posts tagged ‘Tour of Qatar 2009’
Briton Mark Cavendish took an emotionally inspired victory one day after fellow cyclist Frederiek Nolf died in his sleep at the Tour of Qatar. The Columbia-Highroad rider won the final stage, 121 kilometres to Doha, in a sprint finish over Robert Förster (Milram) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo Test Team).
“I dedicate my win to Frederiek and to his family,” said Cavendish.
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finished 10th in the sprint and retained his overall leader’s jersey. The Belgian won the race for a career-third time. Cervélo Test Team finished second and third with Heinrich Haussler and Roger Hammond.
Haussler won the young rider classification ahead of Cavendish with a margin of over two minutes.
Full report to follow…
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia-Highroad 2.26.18 (49.624 km/h) 2 Robert Förster (Ger) Team Milram 3 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam 4 Hans Dekkers (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream 5 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 6 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 7 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. 8 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano 9 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence - Lotto 10 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
The Tour of Qatar continued Thursday despite the sudden death of Belgian Frederiek Nolf the night before at the official race hotel. The riders rode a shortened, neutralised stage of 30 kilometres from Al Kharaib to Doha. They took 55 minutes in memory of the 21-year-old of Team Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, who died of a suspected heart attack in his sleep.
“The riders were not in shape to compete today, above all the Belgians. I think that to stop the race all together would have been bad. When [Fabio] Casartelli died they did not stop the stage [Tour de France stage 15, July 18, 1995 – ed.], they kept going,” said cycling legend and race official Eddy Merckx.
The stage started at 14:05 after the 131 riders observed one minute of silence in honour of Nolf. Teams Katusha and Doha led the riders from the start at the camel racetrack.
The peloton covered the short ride east to Doha’s capital city. Team Doha led a silent peloton over the line.
Riders reported the mood of the group silent and sombre during the stage.
The Tour of Qatar, February 1 to 6, concludes tomorrow with its final stage. The riders will face a 121-kilometre stage from Sealine Beach to Doha’s waterfront.
Tom Boonen is the current general classification leader. The two-time winner leads in what is a three-way fight with two Cervélo riders: Roger Hammond at 10 seconds and Heinrich Haussler at 12 seconds back.
Cavendish out-sprinted race leader Tom Boonen to take the 141km stage and secure his first win of the 2009 season.
It is the third win for an English rider during current Qatar campain.
The Colombia rider battled strong winds, plentiful crashes and a fast pace, and looked to have fallen out of contention in the closing stages before fighting back for the victory. The Tour continues with the 147km stage starting from the Camel Race Track on Thursday.
Boonen opened up the sprint and Cavendish immediately took his wheel. As both riders drifted towards the right hand side of the road under the heavy winds from the left, Cavendish almost hit the curb. Boonen immediately sat up after that, realising that he started the sprint too early.
Team Katusha rider Filippo Pozzato came only 4th to mark the first race without podium for his team.
Tom Boonen took his first win of the season outside Doha’s Golf Club in the Tour of Qatar today. It came on the day a Belgian court ruled that the Quick Step rider would not face further charges stemming over the positive control for cocaine in 2008.
“My season really started today,” said Belgium’s Boonen in response to the court ruling that it would not pursue further charges.
Boonen sprinted clear of an elite group of 26 at the end of a 137.5-kilometre stage from Al Zubarah. He won over Danilo Napolitano (Katusha), Belgian Champion Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo Test Team).
The entire Cervélo team made the final move, including race leader Roger Hammond. He finished sixth and slightly behind Tom Boonen. With the 10 bonus seconds for winning, Boonen now leads the race with six seconds over Hammond.
“There are a lot more guys, and I am pretty surprised by the Cervélo team. I was not expecting to see them in such good shape this early,” Boonen said.
The second time in a row the winner of the stage is a British citizen after the yesterday’s great success of Bradley Wiggins. This time it was Roger Hammond. The rider of the new Cervelo Test Team, made his escape with just 2.8km before finish.
And another second place for Katusha Cycling Team. Danilo Napolitano. The italian sprinter was, in fact, the first rider brom the bunch to cross the line, before such sprint-paersonalities like Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish .
Britain’s triple Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins has the
leader’s jersey after winning the first stage of the Tour of Qatar, a 6km time-trial.
Wiggins, riding for American team Garmin, crossed the line first in six minutes and 34 seconds, just ahead of the Netherlands’ Hans Dekkers.
Garmin finished the 6 km course in 6′34″, one second faster than Quick Step and two seconds better than the russian squad Katusha.
For Katusha Cycling Team, which mainly chases the sone sprint finishes, it is a very good performance.
start time: Sunday 15:00 AST (2:00:00 PM your time)
approximate finish: 15:55 AST (2:55:00 PM your time)
The Tour of Qatar is a road bicycle race race held in Qatar and is part of the UCI Asia Tour. The race exists of a men’s competition over six stages since 2002. It is one of the most important events in asian cycling world.
The event starts with a 6 km TTT in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Will teams really be flying in extra/time trials bikes and equipment for a 6 km TTT? It is interesting that the first stage is the only possibility for a non-sprinter team to obtain something. The rest of the stages are flat, and no doubt, one of the sprinters will be the first.