OPQS and Compex dominate in Qatar: 2nd victory for 'Tornado' Tom Boonen!
The 135km 4th stage at Tour of Qatar was fast, and far from easy. The race speed averaged 57km/h, several riders dealt with punctures due to holes in the road, and the peloton split into several groups. Omega Pharma Quick Step (OPQS) played their cards perfectly and remained in command throughout the race.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) had other plans, but Boonen was able to earn his second victory at the 2014 edition of Tour of Qatar - and the 22nd at the race in his career - with a bike throw. Photo finish showed Boonen took the win by mere centimeters.
"It was one of the fastest races of my life," Boonen said. "I remember a race like this at Paris-Nice a few years ago, but today was another level of fast. As a team we never tried to split the group. We stayed united to avoid dangers on the road. Everybody survived through the first part of the race. We stayed in front and we never tried to make the race harder than what it was already with the wind. So, we stuck together and maintained some control. Near the finish I had the perfect leadout, especially from Andrew Fenn. He did a very good job. He stayed cool and calm, and he led me in the right position. Then I let Greipel go because Jurgen Roelandts went early, which forced Greipel to start slow and use energy to increase his speed. So I jumped on his wheel, waited until the last moment and tactically it was a nice sprint."
Thanks to OPQS again dominating another battle in the wind, Terpstra remains in the Gold Jersey, and Boonen powered his way into 2nd place overall (+17").
"The next two days it will be hard again," Boonen said. "Probably less windy. But, we have to stay focused and pay attention to all the details. Niki and I are really well placed in the GC, so we will try to defend his position. Concerning me, I am really happy about this Tour of Qatar and it's nice to reward the team with a victory after a hard 'day at the office."
'Tornado' Tom and his teammates will make full use of their Compex devices to get maximum recovery and start fresh in the last two stages of this hyper fast Tour of Qatar.