2.11.2012

Tour of Qatar After-View - Oman preview

Pic by OPQS
The first thrill of the season, the first giants show. Tour of Qatar stage 4 
http://www.youtube.com/user/CanalF10#p/u/0/vhCSUq_0Zik 
A stellar break - Boonen, Cavendish, Cancellara, Farrar, Flecha, Gilbert... - a splitted peloton beated by the wind, the road like a black calligraphy on the sand yellow page, a breathtaking finish, a splendid sprint. Rarely Tour of Qatar gave me such a feeling. But that was great cycling, like in Alpes or Flanders. 
"Looks like they have seen me going fast today when i put some gas on in the race in the last 10km." Cancellara tweeted. He looked fast, definitely. Moreover he loked strong, powerful, terrific. He ´put some gas`, a litle bit and it was enought to gave the break a shock. It started officially the final game. Playfully. Lets have fun! he seemed to say. Lets go full gas and dance the big dance again. 
Cancellara tried to excape, caught attacked again, launched the sprint. Too early maybe. Boonen burnt it in a progression, madly fast. But look! who`s that passing left? Tom Veelers! what a move! second behinde Boonen and in front of Cancellara is like to win a race, is a sign you have got a talent. I had no doubt, still it`s nice when a guy you trusted on achieve a big result. 
Names to remember: Navardauskas of course, best young rider, not the first time we hear about him. Adam Blythe: how unlucky that guy is sofar! crashed in TDU, had a flat in a crucial moment here... In spite of all he is 2nd in the BYR classification and on the podium in stage 1, 10th in the final GC: a talented sprinter...when he can sprint... Tony Gallopin: 14th in the final GC. When I met him in Calpe ignored his name, must be honest. In that first race already impressed: he was always there. Bravo. Demare got his first victory as a pro. U23 World Champion in Copenhagen, he can`t be considered a surprise, a confirm rather, a good one.  Aidis Kruopis: who`s that? I don`t know but am curious to see because he finished 9th and was the best man for GreenEdge squad. Galimzyanov and Oss we already know but it will be interesting to see if they improved. In the last part of the season 2010 Daniel Oss - Roubaix rider - revealed a brilliant sprinter side: it shone also under the Arabian sun. Galimzyanov was 2nd in stage 6th but I have got the impression - wrong maybe - that he isn`t yet in his best shape. It`s early in the season, I know, a sprinter thoutght must be ready earlier. Look Cavendish,  look Petacchi (in TDU), look Farrar (2nd in the final GC). Finally: Robert Wagner. he didn`t get big results but was everyday in the midle of the action, looking strong and smart. I am sure we will see good things by him in the next months. Poor Pippo Pozzato crashed and had his collarbone brocken: under surgery today, he told the Gazzetta he hopes to be back on his bike after just 4, 5 days.
As far as teams are concerned, Omega Pharma-Quick Step deservedly won the teams classification: it will be an amazing fight with Sky and Garmin trains! I am looking forward. RadioShack Nissan Trek, BMC and GreenEdge (my favourite teams) did well, not great. Cancellara and Wagner - but also Nizzolo - definitely showed their jersey. Phinney was a little disappointing (also unlucky). GreenEdge didn`t target seriously that race so Kruopis result is a plus. Project 1t4i instead can be proud: Veelers 5th in the fila GC is splendid for such a small, new, ambicious team. 
Finally: we talk a lot about mondialization in procycling. I`ll give you my opinion another time. Here I want just to tell that Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman, like Tour of San Luis or Down Under, allow riders to compete in a decent climate while Europe is trembling with cold. Andy Schleck is supposed to arrived today and we will enjoy a daily Oman highlights by Eurosport. The race starts on the 14th, Valentine day. Not exactly a gift for egagged racers but a gift for me :)


Stage 1
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 3:11:32
2 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team

3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale

4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda

5 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

........
10 Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
Stage 2
1 Garmin - Barracuda
Stage 3
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 3:23:48
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
.........
9 Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
Stage 4
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 3:03:14
2 Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i

3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan

Stage 5
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 3:30:40
2 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
Stage 6
1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat 2:20:44
2 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha

3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
GC
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 15:42:14
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:28
3 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:33
4 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:34
5 Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i 0:01:00
6 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:05
7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:01:06
8 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda 0:01:09
9 Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:10
10 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:01:14
......
14 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
Points
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
Youth

1 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda 15:43:23
2 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
3 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
Team
 1 Omega Pharma-Quick Step

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