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Boonen Wins Tour of Qatar Stage 2

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AFP / Yuzuru Sunada

Tom Boonen claimed the Tour of Qatar second stage on Monday, the former world champion fending off Denmark’s Michael Morkov in a sprint finish. The 33-year-old Belgian’s Omega Pharma teammate, Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands, retained the leader’s yellow jersey. Boonen is back in action after missing the second half of last year, including the world championships in Florence, due to a saddle injury. Boonen and Morkov were joined on the podium after Monday’s 160-kilometer ride from the Camel Race Track to Al Khor by another Belgian, Jurgen Roelandts.
“The final 40 kilometers, with the wind on our backs, we were riding at 60-70kmh,” reported Boonen. “Towards the finish we were all dead, you could see that by the fact that only five or six riders took part in the sprint finish.”

This was Boonen’s 21st stage win in Qatar in an event he has already captured four times.

“Generally, when I do well in Qatar the rest of the season goes well. I hope it’ll be the same this year.”

Terpstra holds a 14-second advantage over Boonen in the overall standings, with the Belgian reflecting: “It’s not going to be easy to make up that time in tomorrow’s time trial, even if I’m going to give my all.”

Tuesday’s third stage, a 10.9km race against the clock, is being held at the Losail motor racing track near Doha.

Tour of Qatar Stage 2
1. Tom Boonen (Bel/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) 3:30:07
2. Michael Morkov (Den/Tinkoff-Saxo)
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel/Lotto Belisol)
4. Andrew Fenn (GBr/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step))
5. Matti Breschel (Den/Tinkoff-Saxo)
6. Ian Stannard (GBr/Sky)
7. Niki Terpstra (Ned/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step)
8. Marcel Sieberg (Ger/Lotto Belisol)
9. Lars Boom (Ned/Belkin) 0:00:05
10. Karsten Kroon (Ned/Tinkoff-Saxo)

General Classification After Stage 2
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) 6:43:30
2. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel/Lotto Belisol) @ :05
3. Tom Boonen (Bel/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) @ :14
4. Michael Morkov (Den/Tinkoff-Saxo) @ :20
5. Marcel Sieberg (Ger/Lotto Belisol) @ :26
6. Andrew Fenn (GBr/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) @ s.t.
7. Ian Stannard (GBr/Sky)
8. Matti Breschel (Den/Tinkoff-Saxo)
9. Lars Boom (Ned/Belkin) @ :31
10. Karsten Kroon (Ned/Tinkoff-Saxo)