Tour of Qatar: Tom Boonen claims victory on stage two amid cross-winds
Tom Boonen extended his remarkable record at the Tour of Qatar by sprinting to a comfortable victory on stage two .
Last Updated: 10/02/14 5:23pm
The Belgian rider wrapped up his 21st victory after his Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team found themselves on the right side of a 24-man split once crosswinds and crashes had splintered the peloton in the final hour of action.
His team-mates kept the pace high to ensure their pursuers were never able to regain contact and Boonen finished things off in style by surging ahead in the last 200 metres and outpaced Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) in a seven-man sprint for the line.
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) meanwhile, was awarded the same time as Boonen after rolling home in seventh position, but his lead at the top of the overall standings was cut to five seconds after Roelandts swept up four bonus seconds in the finale.
In a triple boost for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, British rider Andrew Fenn also moved into the young rider's jersey after wrapping up fourth position on the day.
Once again it was the crosswinds that proved pivotal on the second day of racing, and the peloton was split in three after a large pile-up claimed several high-profile casualties.
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) were all absent from the front group which stayed clear to contest the victory, but Boonen's Omega Pharma Quick-Step team all made the cut and worked well together before delivering the Belgian for a remarkable 21st victory on the Arabian Gulf.