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Boonen collects final stage, overall in Qatar

World champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won the Tour of Qatar on Friday after capturing the fifth and final stage, a 151km run between Al Thakira and Doha. The Belgian rider, who also won the first three stages, sprinted to the final victory ahead of Germany's Erik Zabel (Milram), and Italy's Fabrizio Guidi (Phonak). The 25-year-old Boonen was deprived of a clean sweep this week only after Austria's Bernhard Eisel (Française des Jeux) took Thursday's fourth stage. Boonen credited the weather with an assist in what appeared to be an easy victory. "Because of the wind, which

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By Agence France Presse, and staff reports

Once again - Boonen wins

Once again – Boonen wins

Photo: Graham Watson

World champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won the Tour of Qatar on Friday after capturing the fifth and final stage, a 151km run between Al Thakira and Doha.

Escape after escape: Meschenmoser has a go

Escape after escape: Meschenmoser has a go

Photo: Graham Watson

The Belgian rider, who also won the first three stages, sprinted to the final victory ahead of Germany’s Erik Zabel (Milram), and Italy’s Fabrizio Guidi (Phonak).

The 25-year-old Boonen was deprived of a clean sweep this week only after Austria’s Bernhard Eisel (Française des Jeux) took Thursday’s fourth stage.

Boven on the front

Boven on the front

Photo: Graham Watson

Boonen credited the weather with an assist in what appeared to be an easy victory.

“Because of the wind, which made breakaways difficult, this Tour of Qatar wasn’t very difficult to control. My teammates worked efficiently and all I had to do was finish the good work in the sprint,” he said.

Doha provides the backdrop

Doha provides the backdrop

Photo: Graham Watson

The final stage got off to a fast start — a 14-man break attacked 10km into the day’s racing, and a second group of 13 shot off 8km later; neither made any serious headway.

At 31km, Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) had a dig, taking with him Christophe Meschenmoser (Skil-Shimano) and Jukka Vastaranta (Rabobank), and the three built a lead of 1:20 in just 4km. As the leaders began the first of 10 laps on the finishing circuit, they had a margin of nearly five and a half minutes — and that was the beginning of the end as the chase began in earnest.

With the gap chopped down to a half-minute, Phonak riders took the front and moved closer to the leaders. Nicolas Crosbie (Agritubel) bridged to the break, Krauss dropped off, and then Unibet teammates Erwin Thijs and Geert Omloop made the jump to the front.

It was all for naught — at the 137km mark, the five leaders were caught, and the Milram team moved to the fore, bolstered by Phonak.

In the penultimate lap, the pack shattered into several groups. Among the leaders were all the holders of the leading jerseys and a majority of Quick Step riders. In the final sprint, abetted by a tail wind, Boonen got a great leadout and once more showed Zabel his heels, with Guidi crossing third.

The overall and points win went to Boonen, with Zabel second and Switzerland’s Aurelien Clerc (Phonak) in third. Matti Breschel (CSC) took the prize for best young rider while Phonak won the team classification.

Despite the ease of his win, Boonen feels there is still better to come.

“This race was above all a good test for the team in relation to sprints. On a personal level it will have helped me to perfect my condition. I can tell you I’m still not at my best.

“At Milan-San Remo I’ll be 10 percent stronger, and for the Tour of Flanders I’ll have improved by 20 percent,” he said with a smile.

Top 10 results
1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step), 151.5km in 3:36:48 (41.928 km/h)
2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, s.t.
3. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Phonak, s.t.
4. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.
5. Robert Hunter (RSA), Phonak, s.t.
6. Matti Breschel (Den), CSC, s.t.
7. Gorik Gardeyn (B), Unibet, s.t.
8. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, s.t.
9. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, s.t.
10. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

Overall
1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 17:02:20
2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, at 0:11
3. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, at 0:30
4. Robert Hunter (RSA), Phonak, at 0:40
5. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Phonak, same time
6. Matti Breschel (Den), CSC, at 0:41
7. Steven de Jongh (Ned), Quick Step, s.t.
8. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 0:43
9. Nick Ingels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:44
10. Aart Vierhouten (Ned), Skil-Shimano, s.t.

Complete results

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage

1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 151.5km in 3:36:48

2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, same time

3. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Phonak, s.t.

4. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.

5. Robert Hunter (RSA), Phonak, s.t.

6. Matti Breschel (Dk), CSC, s.t.

7. Gorik Gardeyn (B), Unibet, s.t.

8. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, s.t.

9. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, s.t.

10. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

11. Galdos Alonso Aitor (Sp), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

12. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Quick Step, s.t.

13. Robert Forster (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

14. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), CSC, s.t.

15. Wouter Van Mechelen (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, s.t.

16. Lilian Jegou (F), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.

17. Aart Vierhouten (Nl), Skil-Shimano, s.t.

18. Nick Ingels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.

19. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.

20. Leon Van Bon (Nl), Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.

21. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, s.t.

22. Camille Bouquet (F), Unibet, s.t.

23. Massimiliano Mori (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, s.t.

24. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Nl), Skil-Shimano, s.t.

25. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, s.t.

26. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.

27. Nico Mattan (B), Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.

28. Maarten Tjallingii (Nl), Skil-Shimano, s.t.

29. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

30. Matteo Priamo (I), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, s.t.

31. Gerben Lowik (Nl), Rabobank, s.t.

32. Jukka Vastaranta (Fin), Rabobank, s.t.

33. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis, s.t.

34. Aivaras Baranauskas (Lit), Agritubel, s.t.

35. Mathieu Heijboer (Nl), Cofidis, s.t.

36. Guido Trenti (USA), Quick Step, s.t.

37. Sebastian Siedler (G), Milram, s.t.

38. René Weissinger (G), Skil-Shimano, s.t.

39. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

40. Christophe Detilloux (B), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.

41. Geert Omloop (B), Unibet, s.t.

42. Bjorn Schroeder (G), Milram, s.t.

43. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, at 0:06

44. Wim De Vocht (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:06

45. Martin Muller (Swi), Milram, at 0:06

46. Ralf Grabsch (G), Milram, at 0:06

47. Enrico Poitschke (G), Milram, at 0:06

48. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 0:06

49. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step, at 0:06

50. Christian Knees (G), Milram, at 0:06

51. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Milram, at 0:06

52. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quick Step, at 0:11

53. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:12

54. Arno Wallaard (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 0:12

55. Uros Murn (Slo), Phonak, at 0:27

56. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step, at 1:10

57. Christian Leben (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 1:16

58. Ilya Chernyshov (Kaz), Capec, at 1:16

59. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Unibet, at 1:16

60. Benoit Sinner (F), Agritubel, at 1:16

61. Marc De Maar (Nl), Rabobank, at 1:16

62. Fabien Patanchon (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:16

63. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, at 1:16

64. David Boucher (F), Unibet, at 1:16

65. David Vitoria (Swi), Phonak, at 1:16

66. Luke Roberts (Aus), CSC, at 1:16

67. Hans Dekkers (Nl), Agritubel, at 1:16

68. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, at 1:16

69. Alexey Zaitsev (Kaz), Capec, at 1:16

70. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC, at 1:16

71. Sergio Marinangeli (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 1:16

72. Thomas Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, at 1:16

73. Andrey Mizourov (Kaz), Capec, at 1:16

74. Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:16

75. Luca Ascani (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 1:16

76. Frank Hoj (Dk), Gerolsteiner, at 1:16

77. Alexandr Dymovskikh (Kaz), Capec, at 1:16

78. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:16

79. Kasper Klostergaard (Dk), CSC, at 1:16

80. Martin Pedersen (Dk), CSC, at 1:16

81. Mickael Delage (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:16

82. Marcel Sieberg (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 1:16

83. Koen Barbe (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 1:16

84. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis, at 1:16

85. Artur Gajek (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 1:16

86. Nico Eeckhout (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 1:16

87. Luis Laverde (Col), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 1:16

88. Rene Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, at 1:16

89. Carlos Da Cruz (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:16

90. Paul Martens (G), Skil-Shimano, at 1:16

91. Rik Reinerink (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 1:16

92. Evert Verbist (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 1:16

93. Aldape Chavez Moises (Mex), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 1:16

94. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 1:16

95. Paride Grillo (I), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 1:16

96. Servais Knaven (Nl), Quick Step, at 1:16

97. Kévin Van Impe (B), Quick Step, at 1:16

98. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:16

99. Murilo Fischer (Bra), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 1:16

100. Damien Monier (F), Cofidis, at 1:16

101. Jérémy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 1:29

102. Alexey Lyalko (Kaz), Capec, at 3:01

103. Stefan Cohnen (Nl), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 3:19

104. Erwin Thijs (B), Unibet, at 3:40

105. Bart Vanheule (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 3:40

106. Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz), Capec, at 3:40

107. Frédéric Gabriel (F), Unibet, at 3:40

108. Lubor Tesar (Cz), Team Wiesenhof, at 4:11

109. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Phonak, at 4:11

110. Florian Stalder (Swi), Phonak, at 4:11

111. Angel Rubiano Miguel (Col), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 4:11

112. Martin Mares (Cz), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 4:11

113. Nicholas Roche (Irl), Cofidis, at 4:11

114. Gabriele Colombo (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 4:11

115. Nicolas Crosbie (F), Agritubel, at 4:11

116. Gilles Canouet (F), Agritubel, at 4:11

117. Tim Klinger (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 4:11

118. Pieter Ghyllebert (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 4:11

119. Ben Johnson (Aus), Agritubel, at 4:11

120. José Alberto Martinez (Sp), Agritubel, at 4:11

121. Carlo Westphal (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 7:51

122. Felix Odebrecht (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 7:51

123. Sven Krauss (G), Gerolsteiner, at 7:51

DNF: Christoph Meschenmoser (G), Skil-Shimano

DNF: Valerio Agnoli (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare

DNF: Alexandr Dyachenko (Kaz), Capec

Overall (after five of five stages)

1. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 17:02:20

2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, at 0:11

3. Aurélien Clerc (Swi), Phonak, at 0:30

4. Robert Hunter (RSA), Phonak, at 0:40

5. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Phonak, at 0:40

6. Matti Breschel (Dk), CSC, at 0:41

7. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Quick Step, at 0:41

8. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 0:43

9. Nick Ingels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 0:44

10. Aart Vierhouten (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 0:44

11. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:44

12. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 0:46

13. Maarten Tjallingii (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 0:50

14. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, at 0:50

15. Guido Trenti (USA), Quick Step, at 1:26

16. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, at 2:17

17. Christophe Detilloux (B), Francaise des Jeux, at 2:17

18. Leon Van Bon (Nl), Davitamon-Lotto, at 2:17

19. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 2:33

20. Matteo Tosatto (I), Quick Step, at 2:50

21. Marcel Sieberg (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 3:33

22. Enrico Poitschke (G), Milram, at 4:00

23. Sebastian Siedler (G), Milram, at 4:04

24. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step, at 4:31

25. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step, at 5:47

26. Servais Knaven (Nl), Quick Step, at 5:57

27. Luke Roberts (Aus), CSC, at 10:47

28. Bjorn Schroeder (G), Milram, at 11:04

29. Wouter Van Mechelen (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 11:47

30. Koen Barbe (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 12:10

31. Uros Murn (SLO), Phonak, at 12:26

32. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, at 12:57

33. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, at 13:07

34. Massimiliano Mori (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 13:21

35. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 13:23

36. Geert Omloop (B), Unibet, at 13:27

37. Christian Knees (G), Milram, at 13:34

38. Martin Pedersen (Dk), CSC, at 14:14

39. Paride Grillo (I), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 14:17

40. Rik Reinerink (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 14:22

41. Luca Ascani (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 14:23

42. Martin Muller (Swi), Milram, at 14:43

43. Alexandr Dymovskikh (Kaz), Capec, at 15:04

44. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), CSC, at 15:05

45. Gerben Lowik (Nl), Rabobank, at 15:08

46. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, at 15:18

47. Murilo Fischer (Bra), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 15:52

48. Hans Dekkers (Nl), Agritubel, at 15:59

49. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F), Cofidis, at 16:24

50. Kévin Van Impe (B), Quick Step, at 16:50

51. Robert Forster (G), Gerolsteiner, at 17:44

52. Lilian Jegou (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 17:44

53. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, at 17:44

54. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), CSC, at 18:40

55. Carlos Da Cruz (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 19:00

56. Frédéric Finot (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 19:10

57. Jukka Vastaranta (Fin), Rabobank, at 19:53

58. René Weissinger (G), Skil-Shimano, at 19:55

59. Gorik Gardeyn (B), Unibet, at 20:07

60. Matteo Priamo (I), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 20:07

61. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, at 20:15

62. Wim De Vocht (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 20:34

63. Mickael Delage (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 21:01

64. Frank Hoj (Dk), Gerolsteiner, at 21:11

65. David Boucher (F), Unibet, at 21:23

66. Sergio Marinangeli (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 21:31

67. Stefan Cohnen (Nl), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 21:43

68. Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis, at 22:18

69. Carlo Westphal (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 22:59

70. Evert Verbist (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 24:29

71. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, at 24:32

72. Bart Vanheule (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 24:52

73. José Alberto Martinez (Sp), Agritubel, at 25:23

74. Kasper Klostergaard (Dk), CSC, at 25:40

75. Nico Eeckhout (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 25:48

76. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 26:00

77. Ben Johnson (Aus), Agritubel, at 26:05

78. Aldape Chavez Moises (Mex), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 26:10

79. Nico Mattan (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 27:15

80. Aivaras Baranauskas (Lit), Agritubel, at 27:15

81. Sven Krauss (G), Gerolsteiner, at 27:29

82. Mathieu Heijboer (Nl), Cofidis, at 27:49

83. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 28:01

84. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Milram, at 28:16

85. Paul Martens (G), Skil-Shimano, at 28:54

86. Tim Klinger (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 29:03

87. Benoit Sinner (F), Agritubel, at 29:05

88. David Vitoria (Swi), Phonak, at 29:05

89. Marc De Maar (Nl), Rabobank, at 29:15

90. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 29:50

91. Artur Gajek (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 30:41

92. Lubor Tesar (Cz), Team Wiesenhof, at 30:56

93. Jérémy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 31:05

94. Andrey Mizourov (Kaz), Capec, at 31:47

95. Ilya Chernyshov (Kaz), Capec, at 31:48

96. Camille Bouquet (F), Unibet, at 31:52

97. Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 33:18

98. Fabien Patanchon (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 34:05

99. Arno Wallaard (Nl), Skil-Shimano, at 34:50

100. Ralf Grabsch (G), Milram, at 35:53

101. Florian Stalder (Swi), Phonak, at 36:27

102. Galdos Alonso Aitor (Sp), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 37:06

103. Thomas Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, at 37:19

104. Nicholas Roche (Irl), Cofidis, at 37:39

105. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Phonak, at 39:08

106. Rene Haselbacher (A), Gerolsteiner, at 40:50

107. Damien Monier (F), Cofidis, at 40:50

108. Gilles Canouet (F), Agritubel, at 41:24

109. Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis, at 41:35

110. Erwin Thijs (B), Unibet, at 43:25

111. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Unibet, at 43:36

112. Luis Laverde (Col), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 43:36

113. Pieter Ghyllebert (B), Chocolade Jacques-T Interim, at 44:58

114. Nicolas Crosbie (F), Agritubel, at 46:20

115. Felix Odebrecht (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 46:31

116. Angel Rubiano Miguel (Col), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, at 46:31

117. Gabriele Colombo (I), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 46:31

118. Alexey Zaitsev (Kaz), Capec, at 48:43

119. Christian Leben (G), Team Wiesenhof, at 48:43

120. Frédéric Gabriel (F), Unibet, at 51:07

121. Martin Mares (Cz), Naturino-Sapore Di Mare, at 51:38

122. Alexey Lyalko (Kaz), Capec, at 1:01:21

123. Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz), Capec, at 1:02:00