Tom Boonen disappointed with Tour of Oman result

Tom Boonen could not finish off the work done by Etixx-QuickStep in the opening stage of the Tour of Oman

Tom Boonen at the Etixx training camp in 2015
(Image credit: Watson)

Etixx-QuickStep, a team that rarely missed a beat in the Tour of Qatar, misfired for Tom Boonen in the first stage of the Tour of Oman this afternoon.

Boonen finished second under a scorching sun in Al Wutayyah, narrowly behind Astana’s Andrea Guardini.

Four-time Paris-Roubaix winner Boonen had to start his sprint earlier than planned after team-mate Matteo Trentin dropped him off 250 metres from the line, but couldn’t quite hold off Guardini on the uphill drag.

“I gave a good sprint but the finish line was 50 metres too long,” he said. “If it was 50 metres shorter, I may have won.

“We had done good work in the last five kilometres for the sprint, but in the 300 metres, I had to go, because I had everyone in the wheel.

>>> Etixx-QuickStep’s recipe for Tour of Qatar success: Be big and strong

“I was like a locomotive for them, and the line was still too far away, with a headwind and two to three per cent slope.”

Nonetheless, the 34-year-old was pleased that his preparation for the Classics took another step forward.

"In Oman, we do not need to come here as the favorites, and do the work every day like in Qatar,” he said. “But I want to try my luck a few times in the sprints and today it was an opportunity, especially as the stage was not difficult.

“I'm disappointed [with the result] because we did a lot of work in the final kilometres, but my feelings are really good."

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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.