Andrea Guardini (Farnese – Vini) was awarded the win on the final stage of the Tour of Qatar, although I personally think Chicchi beat him, and Mark Renshaw took the overall as both Heinrich Haussler and Renshaw finished outside the top three so the bonus times didn’t come into effect.
In what was a final sprint with numerous surprises, few would have picked Guardini to upstage the main sprinters on the day. Boonen was dropped within the final 5km, for reasons not yet known, Cancellara seemed to be peddling his ass off, but the group was all bunched up and nervous, seeming to indicate they weren’t going that fast, and none of the big names finished in the top three.
For Renshaw, it’s a great way to start the season after Andre Griepel moved on to the Lotto team and now he and compatriot Matthew Goss can battle it out for the 1B sprinter position for HTC.
Final Stage Top Three:
1. Andrea Guardini (Farnese – Vini)_____2:44:06
2. Francesco Chicchi (Quickstep)______s.t
3. Theo Bos (Rabobank)______________s.t.
Tour of Qatar Final Classification:
1. Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad)______15:31:04
2. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo)__+:08
3. Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek)______+:17
4. Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)__________+:26
5. Roger Hammond (Garmin-Cervelo)___+:38
6. Jeremy Hunt (Sky)_________________+:39
7. Gabriel Rasch (Garmin-Cervelo)_____+:42
8. Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad)______+1:05
9. Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing)_____+1:33
10. Gert Steegmans (Quickstep)_______+1:35