Tour of Qatar: Boonen takes final stage and overall

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01.02.2008/ Tom Boonen won the final stage of the Tour of Qatar today. Boonen also took the overall. It was the second time that 'Tornado Tom' won the overall, after the Quickstep rider already had won the race in 2006. Alberto Loddo (Tinkoff) came in second and Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval - Scott) was the third rider who crossed the line on Doha’s Corniche.

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Tom Boonen during last years Paris - Roubaix (© Cyclingheroes)

The course of the final stage had to be changed after the wind, already well present during the whole week turned to a sand storm. The race organisers therefore decided to get rid of the part going from the start at Al Wakra down south and added an extra three laps on Doha’s Corniche. 125 riders therefore took off for a 104 kilometres long stage. At the start of the final stage, overall leader Tom Boonen (Quickstep), had a lead of 17 seconds on his Dutch team mate Steven De Jongh and 30’seconds on Greg Van Avermaet (Silence - Lotto). Boonen also had a 31 point advantage over Italian Napolitano in the points classification.

The bunch first had to deal with a strong face wind all the way to the Doha Corniche. After 14.5 kilometres the bunch arrived at the final circuit and Qatar’s Tarek Esmaeili (Doha Team) took off for a solo attack. The local rider saw his lead growing from 50 seconds after 16 kilometres to 1' 38" at the first passage on the line (km 21). Under the influence of the wind, the average speed was 29,1 km/h in the first hour of the race.

AT the first intermediate sprint (km 30), Esmaeili  had a lead of 5' 40" lead on the bunch led by Piet Rooijakkers (Skil - Shimano) and Maarten Tjallinghi (Silence - Lotto). His advantage increased and reached 7' 35" at the third passage on the line (km 39).

While the gap reached a maximum 8',Tayler Tolleson (BMC) attacked and was followed and lated caught by Angus Morton (Drapac - Porsche) At the fourth passage on the line (km 48), Esmaeili still had a lead of 6'30" advantage on the counter-attackers and 6'40" on the bunch. A few moments later, Iranian Askari (IRI) took off from the main field and tried on his own to close in on the leading men. A vain effort! The day’s first escapee made it first at the second intermediate sprint, beating Tolleson and Morton, still 2' 20" behind while the pack remained at 3'35". 

After 72 kilometres Esmaeili was eventually caught by Tolleson and Morton. The three riders were caught by the bunch with less then 20 kilometres to go. Twelve kilometres from the finish line, three riders took off: Bart Vanheule (Topsport Vlaanderen), Jackson Stewart (BMC) and Hossein Askari (Iranian Cycling Federation). The trio had a maximum lead of 12 seconds and never reall got away as the bunch was chasing them with a very high pace.

The final sprint could eventually be prepared for all the strong sprinters of the bunch. After he had already won stage 2 and 3, Tom Boonen (QST) conquered his third stage success of the event. Tornado Tom outsprinted Italian rider Alberto Loddo (Tinoff) and Brazilian rider Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duvall - Scott) on the line. Boonen also won the overall of the Tour of Qatar for the second time after 2006, with a 27’" lead over his team mate Steven De Jongh (Quickstep). Boonen also claimed thepoints classification. Greg Van Avermaet (Silence - Lotto), third overall, won the young riders classification of the 2008 edition of the race.

Boonen said: "The sprint was really fast. We had to stay on the outside because the wind was coming from the left side. For the last three kilometres, I had to go at least 15 times on the outside so I lost a lot of energy. The last kilometre was so fast and the guys were leading me out perfectly. Wouter [Weylandt] started sprinting for me, he did an incredible 100m and it was really hard to keep up the speed. I waited for as long as possible and made my effort just in time.
The last few years, we were always good here. If you do a good job one year and a bad job the next year, you can be a little bit worried. Winning is something we have to do. It’s a habit now."

Tinkoff's Alberto Loddo was happy with his performance at this years Tour Of Qatar. The Italian rider finshed 8th overall and won stage 4. At the last two stages Loddo came in second. Loddo said: "I wanted to absolutely repay the confidence my teammates have in me, but Boonen is a very strong competitor; however, I am very pleased with my performance so far, and it gives me confidence that I wish to continue during the season."

Tinkoff's Sports Director Orlando Maini said of the team's performance, "The team has shown strength at the Tour of Qatar, and the victory of Loddo was the highlight, and we are convinced that the team will only continue to improve in performance as the season continues."

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Special Coverage Tour of Qatar 2008

Results Tour of Qatar 2008
stage 6
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                          2.49.47
2 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems                                 
3 Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval - Scott              
4 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre                                             
5 Bernardo Riccio (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems                               
6 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step                                           
7 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Skil-Shimano                                       
8 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Credit Agricole                                        
9 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas                                           
10 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step                                          
11 Cycril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                                      
12 Abdelbasat Hanachi (Alg) Doha Team                                        
13 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                       
14 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Credit Agricole                                    
15 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                   
16 Alberto Curtolo (Ita) Liquigas                                            
17 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                   
18 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram                                              
19 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                    
20 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                       
21 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                   
22 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                          
23 Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                                   
24 Roy Sentjens (Ned) Silence - Lotto                                        
25 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                        
26 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team                                        
27 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Credit Agricole                                 
28 William Bonnet (Fra) Credit Agricole                                      
29 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence - Lotto                                  
30 Gene Bates (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                            
31 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas                                           
32 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                              
33 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                                                
34 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                                         
35 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                            
36 Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano                                          
37 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                                           
38 Rafaa Chitioui (Tun) Doha Team                                         0.08
39 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas                                              
40 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Team Milram                                        
41 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Credit Agricole                                       
42 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                         
43 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                       
44 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram                                             
45 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas                                              
46 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                                       
47 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                                         
48 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                         
49 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval - Scott                             
50 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                              0.11
51 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas                                    0.13
52 Alexander Gottfried (Ger) Tinkoff Credit Systems                          
53 Curvers Roy (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                         0.18
54 Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                        0.22
55 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                       
56 Hossein Askari (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                           0.26
57 Omar Hasanin (Syr) Doha Team                                              
58 Aymen Ben Hassine (Tun) Doha Team                                         
59 Abbas Saeiditanha (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                           
60 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                                           
61 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Credit Agricole                                     
62 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                     
63 Mathieu Heijboer (Ned) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                    0.39
64 Seyed Mostafa Seyed Rezaei Khormizi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation         
65 Taylor Tolleson (USA) BMC Racing Team                                  0.44
66 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                          
67 Huub Duyn (Ned) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                                   
68 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                                            
69 Koen Barbé (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                      
70 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                       
71 Frank Hoj (Den) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                              
72 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                               
73 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                       
74 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                    0.47
75 Angus Morton (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                          
76 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                      
77 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval - Scott                            
78 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                            
79 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                         
80 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                               
81 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step                                      
82 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                              0.52
83 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval - Scott                           
84 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                                        0.54
85 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                     
86 Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team                                  0.59
87 Peter Mc Donald (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                       
88 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step                                       1.12
89 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre                                               
90 Roberto Petito (Ita) Liquigas                                          1.21
91 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Team Milram                                        
92 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                
93 Bart Vanheule (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                   
94 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence - Lotto                               1.23
95 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                         
96 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                          
97 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre                                        1.58
98 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre                                                
99 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                                  
100 Moosa Said (Qat) Doha Team                                               
101 Eric Berthou (Fra) Credit Agricole                                       
102 Dean Windsor (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                         
103 Roberto Longo (Ita) Lampre                                            4.25
104 Tareq Esmaeili (Qat) Doha Team                                        4.49
105 Raul Alarcon Garcia (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                          
106 Hamad Afif (Qat) Doha Team                                            8.27
107 Evert Verbist (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                  
108 Bert Roesems (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                       
109 Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                     
110 Kilian Patour (Fra) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                              
111 Robbie Williams (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                      
112 Hossein Jahanbanian (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                        
113 Guido Trenti (USA) Liquigas                                              
114 Amir Zargari (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                               
115 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                               
116 Khaleel Abduljanan (Qat) Doha Team                                       
117 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                     
118 Martyn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                            
119 Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                              
120 Julian Dean (NZl) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                                
121 Hossein Nateghi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                            
122 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone

Final General Classification
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                         15.27.44
2 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step                                        0.27
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                 0.40
4 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                        0.46
5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                  0.50
6 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 1.10
7 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence - Lotto                                1.12
8 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems                              1.22
9 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                                     1.31
10 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Skil-Shimano                                   1.41
11 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Credit Agricole                                    1.51
12 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                       
13 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step                                       1.54
14 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Credit Agricole                                 
15 Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval - Scott          1.56
16 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                                             1.57
17 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                                        2.16
18 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas                                        2.40
19 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step                                       4.37
20 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas                                       4.38
21 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram                                           4.45
22 Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                                4.50
23 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                                        4.51
24 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                         5.01
25 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas                                           5.02
26 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team                                     5.14
27 Roberto Petito (Ita) Liquigas                                          6.15
28 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                       6.27
29 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Credit Agricole                                    6.58
30 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre                                         9.12
31 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step                                   9.17
32 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                  9.51
33 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Credit Agricole                                10.31
34 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas                                          10.34
35 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence - Lotto                              11.04
36 Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano                                      12.15
37 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre                                            12.50
38 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas                                   12.56
39 Roy Sentjens (Ned) Silence - Lotto                                    13.16
40 William Bonnet (Fra) Credit Agricole                                  13.18
41 Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                       13.43
42 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                               13.53
43 Mathieu Heijboer (Ned) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                   14.21
44 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                                     15.59
45 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                                       16.09
46 Curvers Roy (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                        16.37
47 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                   18.40
48 Bernardo Riccio (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems                          18.57
49 Alberto Curtolo (Ita) Liquigas                                        19.06
50 Omar Hasanin (Syr) Doha Team                                          19.15
51 Julian Dean (NZl) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                             19.18
52 Martyn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                         19.48
53 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre                                           19.53
54 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Team Milram                                    20.17
55 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                                     21.14
56 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                   21.58
57 Cycril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                                  22.51
58 Eric Berthou (Fra) Credit Agricole                                    23.05
59 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                   23.12
60 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                   23.20
61 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                            24.06
62 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Team Milram                                    24.11
63 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval - Scott                         24.22
64 Roberto Longo (Ita) Lampre                                            24.36
65 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                          26.09
66 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                             26.12
67 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                     26.42
68 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre                                       27.10
69 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                     27.18
70 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                      27.31
71 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                                        28.13
72 Abdelbasat Hanachi (Alg) Doha Team                                    28.17
73 Koen Barbé (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                  28.23
74 Huub Duyn (Ned) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                               28.34
75 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                   28.37
76 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                     28.41
77 Dean Windsor (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                      29.10
78 Frank Hoj (Den) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                          29.21
79 Evert Verbist (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                               29.37
80 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                 29.59
81 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                            31.20
82 Rafaa Chitioui (Tun) Doha Team                                        31.22
83 Alexander Gottfried (Ger) Tinkoff Credit Systems                      32.26
84 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                   32.29
85 Angus Morton (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                      33.00
86 Aymen Ben Hassine (Tun) Doha Team                                     33.31
87 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                             33.32
88 Hossein Askari (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                          34.01
89 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval - Scott                       36.17
90 Peter Mc Donald (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                   36.29
91 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram                                         36.33
92 Taylor Tolleson (USA) BMC Racing Team                                 37.04
93 Gene Bates (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                        37.13
94 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                            
95 Robbie Williams (Aus) Drapac Porshe                                   37.15
96 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                           37.21
97 Bart Vanheule (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                               37.42
98 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                    38.41
99 Abbas Saeiditanha (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                       38.43
100 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval - Scott                       38.52
101 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                          40.12
102 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                    40.58
103 Raul Alarcon Garcia (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                      41.16
104 Seyed Mostafa Seyed Rezaei Khormizi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation    41.48
105 Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team                                41.51
106 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Credit Agricole                                42.37
107 Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                 42.51
108 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre                                             43.17
109 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 44.08
110 Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                          44.15
111 Bert Roesems (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                   44.43
112 Guido Trenti (USA) Liquigas                                          45.34
113 Hossein Nateghi (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                        47.21
114 Hossein Jahanbanian (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                    47.58
115 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                 49.23
116 Kilian Patour (Fra) Slipstream p/b Chipotle                          49.32
117 Moosa Said (Qat) Doha Team                                           51.01
118 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone                  51.07
119 Amir Zargari (IRI) Iran Cycling Federation                           52.05
120 Tareq Esmaeili (Qat) Doha Team                                       52.47
121 Hamad Afif (Qat) Doha Team                                           57.30
122 Khaleel Abduljanan (Qat) Doha Team                                   57.39

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