Tour of Qatar st5
(Image credit: MAKOTO AYANO / ISPA)
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Italy?s Danilo Napolitano won the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar on Thursday but the finish was marred by a high-speed crash that left Magnus Backstedt sitting on the road with a broken collarbone.

The giant Slipstream rider had been taken up to the side of the Quick Step lead out train by David Millar in the final kilometre and had Julian Dean and designated sprinter Chris Sutton on his wheel. Slipstream were moving up to challenge Quick Step but as Matteo Tosatto moved over on the right after doing his turn, Backstedt rode into him and went down hard on his right shoulder. Dean and Sutton also crash hard with other riders being scattered across the road.

According to his manager Martin McCrossan, Backstedt has broken his right collarbone and will return to the UK as soon as possible for an operation. Fortunately Backstedt did not damage his left collarbone that has caused him so many problems in the last two years. and he should still be fit for the spring classics, his major objective of the 2008 season.

Only Napolitano, Loddo, Boonen and his last lead out man Steve De Jongh avoided the crash. Boonen seemed to hesitate in the sprint and so Napolitano jumped with two hundred to go and cleverly blocked Boonen behind De Jongh. Loddo got on Napolitano?s wheel but he could not get past, meaning Napolitano took his first win of the season. Loddo was second and Boonen third.

Boonen waved his hand in a mix of disappointment and anger as he crossed the line but retained the overall lead and should win the Tour of Qatar when the race ends with a final stage on Friday.

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1. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre in 3-49-14

2. Alberto Loddo (Ita) Tinokff

3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step

4. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas

5. Nicolai Trussov (Rus) Tinkoff

6. Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Saunier Duval

7. Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Skil-Shimano

8. Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Silence-Lotto

9. Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step

10. Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen all same time

61. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 2-07

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1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step in 12-38-07

2. Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step at 17sec

3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto at 30sec

4. Chris Sutton (Aus) Slipstream at 36sec

5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto at 40sec

6. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom at 1-00

7. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence-Lotto at 1-03

8. Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step at 1-13

9. Alberto Loddo (Ita) Tinkoff at 1-18

10. Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Skil-Shimano at 1-31

49. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 15-29

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Stage Four: Loddo beats Boonen

Stage three: Boonen again

Stage two: Boonen wins first sprint

Stage one: Quick Step pip Slipstream

Tour of Qatar 2008 preview


Tour of Qatar 2008 photo gallery: pictures added daily>>

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