Tour of Qatar – Stages 1-3

Photo credit: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images

Again, catching up! The Tour of Qatar is currently underway and stage three finished today with Torpedo Tom Boonen winning the crash-filled third stage sprint. The Qatar runs from Feb.7th through the 12th, concluding in Doha Corniche. Today, Boonen edged out Heinrich Haussler and Baden Cooke at the line while bikes and riders were tumbling to the tarmac behind them.

The Tour of Qatar, infamous for it’s devastating wind and torturous heat, is a flat, short tour comprising of 6 stages and 723km for the 2010 edition. It’s been running annually since 2002 and is part of the UCI Asia Tour series. Boonen won it last year, and the year before and in 2006, so he’s the man to put your money on. The Tour has also had some devastating news over-shadowing it numerous times with the most recent being the death of former rider and Italian coach Franco Ballerini. Last year, news of the death of 21-year-old Frederiek Nolf rocked the peleton prior to stage 5, which was neutralized in his honor.

This year, the Tour kicked off with a Team Time Trial which was won in dominating fashion by Team Sky resulting in the first yellow-jersey-wearer being the Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagan. The second stage was won by Topsport’s Geert Steurs with a long breakaway attack. The third, again, by Boonen which sets up the standings as follows:

Stage 3: 136km, Dukhan-Mesaieed
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step___3h 01′ 39″
2. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo__st
3. Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank___st

General Classification after 3 stages:

1. MOL Wouter (Vacansoleil)___6h 42′ 30″
2. STEURS Geert (Topsport)___+ 00′ 09″
3. BOONEN Tom (Quick Step)_+ 01′ 55″

Stage 1 winners: Team Sky
Photo credit: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images

Stage 2 winner: Geert Steurs
Photo credit: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images

Stage 3 winner: Tom Boonen
Photo credit: KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images


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