Australia's Heinrich Haussler of Garmin won the second stage of the Tour of Qatar on Tuesday between the Camel Race Track and Doha Golf Club, ousting Italian Daniele Bennati and Russian Denis Galimzyanov in a sprint finish.
Belgian Tom Boonen of Quick Step retained the overall leader's golden jersey after placing sixth on the day. Haussler, 26, was delighted after coming through the 135km stage - but stage one winner Boonen himself endured a rough time of it heading for the finish. He explained: "Two of my teammates who were supposed to launch my sprint, Nikolas Maes and Andreas Stauff, suffered punctures in the final five kilometers and, badly positioned, I was unable to go for it. It's a shame as the rest of the day was perfect."
Italian champion Giovanni Visconti launched an early escape with compatriot Manuel Quinziato, Russian Mikhail Ignatyev and Belgians Niko Eeckhout and Jan Ghyselink at the 7km mark. But after putting 5-minutes between themselves and the pack they were finally hauled in 10km from the line.
"That's why our win was deserved," said Haussler, whose 2010 season was ravaged by knee problems. "We were working away whereas Quick Step were watching us do so."
Wednesday is a 150.5km ride from Al Wakra to Messayed.
Tour of Qatar: Stage 2, 135 km
1. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/Garmin) 3:04:03
2. Daniele Bennati (ITA) @ s.t.
3. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS)
4. Theo Bos (NED)
5. Roger Kluger (GER)
6. Tom Boonen (BEL)
7. Mirco Lorenzetto (ITA)
8. Danilo Hondo (GER)
9. Gert Steegmans (BEL)
10. Wouter Weylandt (BEL)
1. Tom Boonen (BEL/Quick Step) 6:06:35
2. Heinrich Haussler (AUS) at @ .01
3. Mark Renshaw (AUS) @ .4
4. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) @ .8
5. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) @ .9
6. Daniele Bennati (ITA) @ .10
7. Andreas Klier (GER) @ s.t.
16, 8. Gert Steegmans (BEL) @ .17
9. Jeremy Hunt (GBR) @ .19
10. Dominique Rollin (CAN) @ .19