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Lars Boom wins prologue at 2011 Tour of Qatar
By Steve FrothinghamPublished Updated
DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Rabobank’s Lars Boom put his cyclocross skills and power to their best use Sunday, winning a technical prologue to take the first leader’s jersey of the 2011 Tour of Qatar.
Boom, a former cyclocross world champion, bested world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) by four seconds. Skil-Shimano’s Tom Veelers was third, another second back.
The prologue was held on a sinuous 2.5km course that wove around a massive brand new civic area/beach park/retail development in Doha.
The course started by rolling out of a shiny new stone amphitheater and then wound through traffic cones and around tight roundabouts, up and down small curbs and over a large metal speed bump — all of this on granite cobbles or paving stones, and in gusty winds.
“It suited me, a lot of corners … I liked the circuit,” said Boom. “I tried my best and I was relaxing before the start so that’s always good.”
However, Boom did not sound overly confident of his ability to hold on to the jersey through the five stages.
“I have four seconds on Cancellara, and then how many seconds do I have on the sprinters? Every day it’s going to be a sprint. My form is OK, let’s try to make the best of it and see what happens,” he said.
The most dangerous sprinter is probably three-time Qatar overall winner Tom Boonen (Quick Step), who sits six seconds behind Boom, in seventh place. HTC-Highroad’s Mark Renshaw is only nine seconds back, in 12th.
Intermediate sprints on the road stages award 3-, 2- and 1-second bonuses, while stage results generate 10-, 6- and 4-second bonuses.
One rider who will not threaten Boom’s overall lead is Renshaw’s teammate Mark Cavendish. Cavendish, who started next to last, crashed and crossed the line dejected in last place, 1:13 behind Boom.
Boonen, the day’s final starter, passed Cavendish on the final straight.
Cavendish’s team later told reporters that he went down after his front wheel collapsed when he bunny-hopped over a speed hump. He injured his face and back and crushed his helmet in the crash.
Cavendish, who has two career stage wins at Qatar, will decide on Monday whether he will continue the race.
Sky’s Alex Dowsett, fifth overall at six seconds, leads the best young rider competition.
Rabobank leads the team competition.
Monday’s stage crosses Qatar west to east, covering 145.5km from Dukhan to Al Khor Corniche, with two intermediate sprints. The race entourage remains headquartered at Doha’s Ritz Carlton the entire week, but getting to the Monday start will require a 90km transfer.
1. Lars Boom, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:07
2. Fabian Cancellara, Team Leopard-Trek, at 03:11
3. Tom Veelers, Skil-Shimano, at 03:12
4. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Sky Procycling, at 03:12
5. Alex Dowsett, Sky Procycling, at 03:13
6. Gert Steegmans, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 03:13
7. Tom Boonen, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 03:13
8. Maarten Wynants, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:15
9. Tomas Vaitkus, Pro Team Astana, at 03:15
10. Matt Brammeier, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:16
11. Roger Kluge, Skil-Shimano, at 03:16
12. Mark Renshaw, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:16
13. Jack Bobridge, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:17
14. Nikolas Maes, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 03:17
15. Tom Stamsnijder, Team Leopard-Trek, at 03:17
16. Joost Posthuma, Team Leopard-Trek, at 03:18
17. Manuel Quinziato, BMC Racing Team, at 03:18
18. Tanel Kangert, Pro Team Astana, at 03:18
19. Gediminas Bagdonas, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 03:19
20. Jelle Wallays, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 03:19
21. Grega Bole, Lampre – Isd, at 03:19
22. Russel Downing, Sky Procycling, at 03:19
23. Andreas Klier, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:19
24. Maarten Tjallingii, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:19
25. John Murphy, BMC Racing Team, at 03:20
26. Théo Bos, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:20
27. Daniele Bennati, Team Leopard-Trek, at 03:20
28. Daniel Lloyd, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:20
29. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, at 03:20
30. Anthony Geslin, Fdj, at 03:21
31. Jan Ghyselinck, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:21
32. Bernhard Eisel, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:21
33. William Bonnet, Fdj, at 03:21
34. Albert Timmer, Skil-Shimano, at 03:21
35. Patrick Gretsch, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:21
36. Dennis Van Winden, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:21
37. Heinrich Haussler, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:21
38. Simon Geschke, Skil-Shimano, at 03:21
39. Jérémy Hunt, Sky Procycling, at 03:22
40. Stijn Vandenbergh, Katusha Team, at 03:22
41. Ian Stannard, Sky Procycling, at 03:22
42. Matthieu Ladagnous, Fdj, at 03:22
43. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team, at 03:22
44. Johan Van Summeren, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:22
45. Pieter Serry, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 03:22
46. Giovanni Visconti, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 03:22
47. Dominique Rollin, Fdj, at 03:22
48. Patrik Sinkewitz, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 03:22
49. Gabriel Rasch, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at 03:23
50. Leif Hoste, Katusha Team, at 03:23
51. Gatis Smukulis, HTC-HighRoad, at 03:23
52. Andrew Fenn, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 03:23
53. Stuart O’grady, Team Leopard-Trek, at 03:23
54. Andreas Stauff, Quick Step Cycling Team, at 03:23
55. Kurt-asle Arvesen, Sky Procycling, at 03:23
56. Oscar Gatto, Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, at 03:23
57. Bram Tankink, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 03:23
58. Tomas Alberio, Geox – Tmc, at 03:23
59. Danilo Hondo, Lampre – Isd, at 03:23
60. Maxim De Busschere, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 03:23
61. Nikolay Trusov, Katusha Team, at 03:24
62. Sam Bennett, An Post-Sean Kelly, at 03:24
63. Stijn Neirynck, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 03:24