South African Robbie Hunter’s team Garmin-Barracuda won Monday’s second stage of the Tour of Qatar, placing Hunter sixth on the general classification.
The stage was a a 11.3-km time trial at the Lusail motorcycle track. Belgian Tom Boonen of the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, winner of Sunday’s first stage, retained the race leader’s golden jersey, with American Tyler Farrar second on the same time.
Garmin finished the time trial ahead of Omega Pharma–Quick-Step and Sky.
“We’re here with some young riders. Second by seven seconds from the machines that is Garmin,” said Boonen. “It’s really very good. “Almost all the world’s best sprinters are here. That promises to throw up a good spectacle.”
Farrar, ranked second because Boonen won the first stage, said: “The TTT is close to our hearts at Garmin-Barracuda and winning today, as a team, is really exciting. It’s a great way to start off the year.”
“They’re even our favourite event. We train a lot for them and today we had great legs.
“I’ll obviously give the maximum over the last four stages to claim the golden jersey. But we’re at the start of the season. It’s my first race and my form is without doubt not yet at its best.”
Robbie Hunter posted on his twitter feed, “We won the TTT what a good way to start the year.. Victory number 1 for Garmin- Barracuda! Still trying to put my lungs where they belong!”
Tuesday sees the riders tackle the 146.5km third stage between Dukhan and Al Gharafa Stadium.
1. Garmin (USA) 12min 38sec, 2. OmegaPharma-QuickStep (BEL) at 7sec, 3. Sky (GBR) 9, 4. Katusha (RUS) 9, 5. Liquigas (ITA) 13, 6. RadioShack (LUX) 14, 7. Greenedge (AUS) 16, 8. BMC (USA) 16, 9. Rabobank (NED) 17, 10. Lotto (BEL) 17, 11. FDJ (FRA) 23
1. Tom Boonen (BEL) 3hr 24min 07sec, 2. Tyler Farrar (USA) s.t., 3. Johan Van Summeren (BEL) at 3sec, 4. Ramuna Navardauskas (LIT) 3, 5. Thomas Dekker (NED) 3, 6. Robert Hunter (RSA) 3, 7. Davide Appollonio (ITA) 10, 8. Francesco Chicchi (ITA) 10, 9. Gert Steegmans (BEL) 10, 10. Guillame Van Keirsbulck (BEL) 10
20. Marc Cavendish (GBR) 12, 35. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 17, 38. Mark Renshaw (AUS) 19, 46. Philippe Gilbert (FRA) 19