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6th Tour of Qatar Cycling Race Stage 0ne
By Podofdonny
Date: 1/28/2007
6th Tour of Qatar Cycling Race Stage 0ne

A 6 kilometre team time trial see’s Boonen at his Imperial best, Milram and Liquigas also flying …

Tour of Qatar – courtesy ASO

The Tour of Qatar took off on Doha’s sea front this morning with a 6km team time-trial.Perfect weather conditions, saw the teams speed along silky smooth dual carriageways bordered by a perfect blue sea on one side and the futuristic scy scrapers of Doha on the other. Two large roundabouts presented the only sort of technical difficulty.

It was good to see that both the Iran National Team and a combined Doha Team take part in the race and neither team was disgraced, both setting respectful times.

However it was the Liquigas Team looking well prepared on their Cannondale bikes and new kit sped along the dual carriageway , sea to the left , futuristic skyscrapers on the right and then set the benchmark time of 6 minutes 42 seconds. Fancied T Mobile , highy motivated and using a two line formation with a very quick turn around at the front seemed to be going very well indeed, but appearances can be deceptive and T Mobile’s time would only see them finish in fifth place.

Masters of the lead out train, and racing over a distance ideally suited to their strengths Milram powered around the course and went into the lead bettering the Liquigas time by two seconds.

Enter stage left Quickstep, a team battered by newspaper reports and speculation over the last few days. However although Boonen had doubted his morale for this race, nothing seemed further from the truth when the Quickstep train began to roll. With Boonen in scintillating form and riding like a man possessed the Quickstep Train looked at times ragged, but this belay the pure power the team were pouring out onto the tarmac.

The Quickstep Team’s five riders crossed the line in an impressive 6 minutes 33 seconds. First of the 5 Quickstep riders to cross the line was Steven De Jongh who took the yellow jersey.

”The goal for me wasn’t to be first of the team on the finish line. We really wanted Davide Vigano to lead the team and claim the first golden jersey. Davide’s father passed away a few weeks ago. Unfortunately Davide was dropped behind in the last kilometre. On behalf of all the Quickstep team, this victory is for dedicated to Patrick Lefevere.

It’s good to win this team time-trial. We really want to win all the stages of this Tour of Qatar. Last year, we failed to do so, only winning 4 out of 5. This year we want to get them all, especially thanks to Tom Boonen.

The blue jersey for the best young rider is for Milram’s Marcel Sieberg.

Remaining Stages

Stage 2, Monday 29th January: Al Wakra Qatar Olympic Committee (135,5 km)
Stage 3, Tuesday 30th January: Dohat Salwa Khalifa Stadium (140 km)
Stage 4, Wednesday 31st January: Camel Race Track Doha Golf Club (139,5 km)
Stage 5, Thursday 1st February: Al Zubarah Mesaieed (160,5 km)
Stage 6, Friday 2nd February: Sealine Beach Resort Doha Corniche (134 km)

Tour of Qatar – courtesy ASO

Stage One result :

1. Quick Step-Innergetic (BEL) les 6 km en 6'33" (54,9 km/h)
2. Team Milram (ITA) à 5 sec.
3. Liquigas (ITA) à 7 sec.
4. Predictor-Lotto (BEL) à 9 sec.
5. T-Mobile (ALL) à 11 sec.
6. Ag2r Prévoyance (FRA) m.t.
7. Astana (SUI) à 13 sec.
8. Rabobank (PBS) à 14 sec.
9. Saunier Duval-Prodir (ESP) m.t.
10. Bouygues Telecom (FRA) à 16 sec.

General :

1. Steven De Jongh (PBS, Quick Step-Innergetic) en 6'33"
2. Wilfried Cretskens (BEL, Quick Step-Innergetic) m.t.
3. Tom Boonen (BEL, Quick Step-Innergetic) m.t.
4. Gert Steegmans (BEL, Quick Step-Innergetic) m.t.
5. Matteo Tosatto (ITA, Quick Step-Innergetic) m.t.
6. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA, Team Milram) à 5 sec.
7. Marco Velo (ITA, Team Milram) m.t.
8. Alessandro Cortinovis (ITA, Team Milram) m.t.
9. Fabio Sacchi (ITA, Team Milram) m.t.
10. Marcel Sieberg (ALL, Team Milram) m.t.

Tour of Qatar – courtesy ASO

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