Tour of Qatar

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Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:25 am

Another crash for Cav, thankfully he hidnt take out half the peloton this time :roll:

6th February, Prologue (ITT): Cultural Village 2km

Boom blasts to victory


Lars Boom (Rabobank) made the most of a technical prologue course in the Doha Cultural Village to take the first golden jersey of the 2011 Tour of Qatar. The Dutchman is equally adept as a cyclo-cross rider as he is against the watch, and he combined his bike handling skills and speed to fine effect on the tricky 2.5km circuit.

World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), the default favourite for time trials of all shapes and sizes, had to settle for second best on a course that featured cobbles, technical corners and strong winds. Dutchman Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) put in a fine ride to finish third, while Team Sky had a solid opening thanks to Juan Antonio Flecha (fourth) and Alex Dowsett (fifth). That ride gave Dowsett the best young rider’s jersey, while Rabobank won the team prize.

“I'm very happy,” Boom said after learning that Cancellara had failed to beat his time. “I didn't expect this, although I had a very good winter.”

Boom’s victory was built largely on his ability to accelerate explosively out of the circuit’s twelve bends, although he admitted that he took risks on the entry to a number of corners.

“Of course you have to take risks in the prologue, you gain seconds that way,” he explained.

While Boom toasted victory, Fabian Cancellara was left to rue the circuit’s sinuous nature. Resplendent in his rainbow bands, the Swiss rider looked as imperious as ever when he powered down the starting ramp, but a confused approach to a bend 600m from the line seemed to break his rhythm somewhat. However, with a gap of four seconds between him and Boom at the finish, it seems that the Dutchman’s bike-handling and technical ability ultimately won through.

1 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:07
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:00:04
3 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano 0:00:05
4 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling
5 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:06
6 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
8 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:08
9 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana
10 Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad 0:00:09
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by BNA » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:29 am

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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:29 am

54.8km in the first hour of racing!

7th February, Stage 1: Dukhan - Al Khor Corniche 145.5km

Boonen storms to victory in Al Khor Corniche

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) got his season off to the best possible start with a resounding sprint victory from an elite group of 18 riders on stage one of the Tour of Qatar. In beating Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) and Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad), the Belgian took his 18th stage win in the event and he inherited the gold jersey from Lars Boom (Rabobank).

Boonen’s speed in the finishing sprint was in itself cause for celebration in the Quick Step camp, but the impressive manner of the win is a clear indication that he is fully recovered from the knee injuries that tempered his 2010 season. The former world champion won an 18-man sprint after spending over 140km at the front of the peloton in a very elite echelon that formed in windy conditions.

It was Boonen’s first victory since Tirreno-Adriatico in March of last year, and he admitted that it was liberation after months of what he called “Rocky-style training.”

“I hadn’t done any sprints in almost a year,” Boonen told Cyclingnews afterwards. “I had the crash at the Tour de Suisse but my last real sprint was from Tirreno-Adriatico. I did a lot of work this winter. For the first year in I think six years I was really working on speed and sprinting. I didn’t know what to expect but I was eager to try.”

General classification after stage 1

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 3:02:32
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:04
3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:00:08
4 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:09
5 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:11
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:16
7 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo
8 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:17
9 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:19
10 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:19 pm

Bugger, Boonen did what I didn't want him to do.

But good to see HH and Renshaw up there. :D
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby Richard.L » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Heinrich still German?
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby Chuck » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:23 pm

MichaelB wrote:Bugger, Boonen did what I didn't want him to do.


I feel a bit the same as you about big Tom.

It's probably a bit unfair because the truth is he is one heck of a racer. He really animates races, especially the one day classics. On form he's very strong and would probably only get left behind on true mountain stages.

But for some reason I'm always rooting against him.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:40 am

Richard.L wrote:Heinrich still German?


thought he was racing under an Aus licence this year??


MichaelB wrote:Bugger, Boonen did what I didn't want him to do.


he did pretty well last year at qatar from memory

i can forgive his indiscretions but if the was a sprint between him an Thor, i'd be barraking for Thor
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:44 am

Haussler wins in a bunch sprint!!! Second on GC and First in the points classification :mrgreen:

February 8, Stage 2: Camel Race Track - Doha Golf Club 135.5km

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) gave an early indication of his 2011 ambitions with a thrilling sprint victory on stage two of the Tour of Qatar. The Australian won a tight dual with Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) in the finishing straight to move within one second of Tom Boonen's (Quick Step) gold jersey.

Like Boonen, who took the honours the previous day, Haussler's 2010 campaign was ruined by a knee injury and he was delighted to draw a line under a difficult period.

"It's nice to get a win in, especially after last year," Haussler said afterwards. "It's good to start off in a positive way."

Haussler's win came at the expense of Daniele Bennati, who has been showing signs of strong form in Qatar this week. The Italian's confidence was reflected by the way in which his Leopard Trek team, commanded by Fabian Cancellara, seized control of what Haussler termed a chaotic finale. While HTC-Highroad, Quick Step and Garmin-Cervélo were among the teams vying for dominance at the head of the peloton, it was ultimately the Luxembourg team that led out the sprint.

"Team Leopard went on the front in the last k," Haussler said. "I was on Bennati's wheel and they pretty much did the work for me."

Race leader Boonen was also fighting for the prime position on Bennati's wheel, but Haussler held his ground and then managed to come around Bennati in the closing 100 metres to take the win in a tight finish. Russian youngster Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) came home in third place, while Boonen could only manage sixth.

"I had already used up a lot of my teammates before the sprint began," Boonen said. "My pacesetters Nikolas Maes and Andreas Stauff both had mechanical problems. Andreas tried to help lead me out even with a flat front tyre, but I had to find my own way. But that's cycling."

While Boonen has the consolation of retaining the gold jersey, albeit with just one second of an advantage over Haussler, HTC-Highroad duo Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw could only manage 12th and 14th on the stage, respectively. Overall, Renshaw now lies in third place, at four seconds.

General Classification after stage 2

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 6:06:35
2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:01
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:04
4 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 0:00:08
5 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:09
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:10
7 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:16
8 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:17
9 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:19
10 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:48 am

Chuck wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Bugger, Boonen did what I didn't want him to do.


I feel a bit the same as you about big Tom.

It's probably a bit unfair because the truth is he is one heck of a racer. He really animates races, especially the one day classics. On form he's very strong and would probably only get left behind on true mountain stages.

But for some reason I'm always rooting against him.


You are right. Same as M Schumacher. Great racer, bit of a personality.

Anyway - YAY for HH !!!!!
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:28 pm

How fast Fabian ... ?

An excerpt from Velonews


It was plain to see that speeds were high - 54.8 kilometers were covered in the first hour of racing - but it wasn't clear just how high they were until Cancellara tweeted after the stage that he had set a new flat road record for himself.

"Wind…wind…wind…from the front, side, back…I beat my record on the flat today 81.5 km/h. Happy I was in the front group."


Holy snapping duckdoo. Even with a tailwind, tjhat's quick. Hate to be riding into it though :shock:
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:41 pm

The race from last year had the bunch traveling at 80-85Kmh in parts. The shots were from the motor bike with the camera. Showed a shot of the speedo as the bike was level with the front riders and then the commentators remarking on the speed. :shock:
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:53 pm

I am pretty happy to see Boonen back...be crap if such a good rider was out for good because of a nagging knee injury.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby Chuck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:18 am

toolonglegs wrote:I am pretty happy to see Boonen back...be crap if such a good rider was out for good because of a nagging knee injury.


Agree.


On topic, HH again :D and into the leaders jersey 8)
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:24 am

Chuck wrote:On topic, HH again :D and into the leaders jersey 8)


OH YEAH!

Boonen dropped from front echelon after puncture
Haussler wins again and takes overall lead


February 9, Stage 3: Al Wakra - Mesaieed 150.5km

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) took control of the overall lead of the Tour of Qatar with his second consecutive sprint victory on Wednesday.

On a day when the wind once again wreaked havoc on the peloton, Haussler and his teammates expertly handled the conditions and were able to take full advantage when race leader Tom Boonen (Quick Step) punctured and lost touch with the lead echelon 40km from the finish.

After recording a narrow win over Daniel Bennati (Leopard Trek) the previous day, Haussler was a considerably more comfortable winner in Mesaieed. The Australian launched his sprint from behind Mark Renshaw's (HTC-Highroad) and surged past him in the final 50 metres, while Bennati was again frustrated in third place after leading out the sprint. Haussler won so well, he even had time to sit up as he crossed the line to celebrate a perfectly-timed effort.

"Today was just all about timing," Haussler said afterwards. "The others went pretty early and I was just left with a gap in the sprint."

While Haussler was celebrating, Tom Boonen was left to rue the misfortune of puncturing just as the group of strongmen was about to catch the day's early break. In spite of a valiant attempt to get back on, first alone, and then as part of a sizeable chase group, Boonen was unable to make contact with the Garmin-Cervélo express up front.

Once the gap went above 1:15 with 20km to go, Boonen became resigned to losing his chance of overall victory in the most frustrating of circumstances. He ultimately came home in a group some 3:02 behind and admitted that even if he had bridged the gap, he would not have been competitive in the sprint.

"I realised I had to try and go to the front of the group and lead the chase," Boonen said. "But even if I'd closed the gap, I'd still have been dead at the finish."

Garmin-Cervélo was driving on the front when Boonen punctured and Roger Hammond offered an honest assessment of the situation. "In races like this you can't wait," he explained. "We didn't speed up but then we couldn't wait either."

His thoughts were echoed by Haussler. "It's unfortunate for Tom," he said. "A flat tyre is probably the worst way to lose a yellow jersey."

General classification after stage 3

1 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 9:34:30
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:04
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:15
4 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:18
5 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:28
6 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
7 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:30
8 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:37
9 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:00:42
10 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:46
...
14 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:03:11
Last edited by JV911 on Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:06 am

Chuck wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:I am pretty happy to see Boonen back...be crap if such a good rider was out for good because of a nagging knee injury.


Agree.


On topic, HH again :D and into the leaders jersey 8)


Yay again for HH. :D :D :D Overall leader and points leader by a long way.

Bugger for Boonen though. Not a good way to lose the leaders jersey.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:45 am

so is haussler going to take cav head on after cav starts his real season? in Milan San Remo or the Tour? would be interesting to see after the Tour de Suisse bust up and Haussler's renewed sprinting form.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby soc » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:10 pm

Versus.com has lengthy video highlights of each stage, but not posted up until mid afternoon (our time). Mat Keenan commentating.
Go to Videos and select Cycling.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby Chuck » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:51 pm

Renshaw :D Nice reward for a selfless rider.
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby JV911 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:24 am

Renshaw wins in Al Kharaitiyat :mrgreen:

10th February, Stage 4: West Bay Lagoon - Al Kharaitiyat 153.5km


Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) took a classy sprint victory in Al Kharaitiyat to move into the overall lead of the Tour of Qatar. The Australian had too much for Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) in the finishing straight, and now leads previous gold jersey Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) by six seconds going into the race’s final day.

So often called upon to sacrifice his own ambitions in the service of Mark Cavendish, Renshaw was afforded the opportunity to lead the line this week once it became apparent that the Manxman was not as advanced in his form as his usual lead-out man. After finishing second behind Haussler on Wednesday, Renshaw was understandably relieved to get the win.

“I don’t get the opportunity very often,” Renshaw said. “At the start of this week when I was still second on GC, the plan was to try and get a result for Cav. Luckily he’s not on the best form so that gave me an opportunity.”

In a rapid finale, Renshaw’s teammate Bernhard Eisel was hugely impressive in shutting down dangerous moves from both Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky), but it was once again Leopard Trek who led out the finishing sprint. They did a fine job in setting up their sprinter Daniele Bennati, who has been pedalling fluidly all week, but once again the Italian was frustrated in the finishing sprint as Renshaw came around him for the win.

Renshaw launched his sprint when he sensed Tom Boonen moving up on his shoulder. After timing his leap off Bennati’s wheel to perfection, he did well to hold off Boonen. The Belgian was lacking the sharpness he showed earlier in the week, and was ultimately beaten by Bennati for second.

“I had the perfect wheel,” Renshaw said. “I was behind Bennati and then I had a bit of a tussle with Boonen.”

Heinrich Haussler, so dominant on stage 3, was never a significant factor in the finishing sprint this time around as he finished outside the time bonuses in fourth place. He loses his overall lead to his fellow countryman Renshaw and explained that he simply didn’t have the freshness to be competitive in the closing metres.

“We worked well as a team and we did everything we could but in the finishing sprint I just didn’t have the legs to go with them,” Haussler admitted. He also expressed his admiration for the manner of Renshaw’s win.

“Mark’s getting stronger each year and I think he’s at a stage where he’s probably going to start to go for more races for himself,” Haussler said. “He proved he can win races today. He’s in good form, he was at the Tour Down Under already leading out Matt Goss. He’s a good sprinter.”

General classification after stage 4

1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 12:47:00
2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:06
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:15
4 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:24
5 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:36
6 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:37
7 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:40
8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad 0:01:03
9 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31
10 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:01:33
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby whitey » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:49 am

Good to see Renshaw and HH in the mix here. Anyone else noticed how there is no spectators? A few cameramen and some team officials and mechs and that it in the coverage I have been watching.

Hope they get more to the world cup in 2022 :mrgreen:
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:09 am

Great to see the Aussies at the front, again !!!

Now that it comes down to the last day, the intermediate sprints will be all important, and probably one of the things that helped Renshaw take the leaders jersey (apart from the stage win).

Will be interesting to see who wins - it's really either Renshaw or HH, as the others are too far back.... unless something goes wrong
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby familyguy » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:52 am

And on the top two steps!
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby sogood » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:56 am

Great to see Renshaw taking the overall win. He couldn't sleep the night before for his potential first tour win. :mrgreen:
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby wagr1213 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:56 am

Yippee!

Great to see Mark Renshaw win the tour!

Love the selfless work he does for Cav but even better to see him win a tour - rode with him when he was here in Perth and was lucky to chat with him for several Km's - a nice laid back sort of guy, easy to talk to and very interesting.

Good on Ya Mark! :D
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby Chuck » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:03 pm

sogood wrote:Great to see Renshaw taking the overall win.


+1

familyguy wrote:And on the top two steps!


8)
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Re: Tour of Qatar

Postby MichaelB » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:11 am

Just saw some of the highlights of the ToQ on Cycling Central last night - how the hell did Friere stay upright in the prologue when the barriers came down in front of him :shock: :shock: :shock:

If he came down because of that (no fault of his own), what would happen to his time ?


Anyway, as others said, great result for Aus, top two steps on podium and points jersey as well !!!!
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