Tom Boonen and the other big names preferred to sit in the bunch and let the lesser-known riders share the spotlight during the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar on Thursday.
Ten riders formed the decisive break during the 160km stage with 21 year-old Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (Predictor) winning the sprint to take his first win as a professional ahead of Germany?s Marcel Sieberg (Milram) and Frenchman Stefane Pouhlies (Ag2r). The bunch finished three minutes behind.
Boonen?s team mate Wilfried Cretskens took over the gold leader?s jersey after being in the ten-rider move and now leads Boonen by 2-19. He has probably secured overall victory and Quick Step could finish with a 1-2-3 because Steven De Jongh is third overall at 2-44.
?This is a special day for me because I usually work for the team but before the start of the stage we talked about our tactics and we knew we had to get a rider in every break,? Cretskens said before pulling on the gold leader?s jersey.
?I got in the right one and things went my way. It?s a special feeling being the race leader on the last day even if I?ll be working for Tom but it?ll be special if I manage to win the race.?
The Tour of Qatar ends on Friday with the 134km sixth stage from Sealine Beach Resort to the Doha Cornice.