In his first outing for Team CSC, Australian rider Stuart O'Grady broke his chain while contesting the final sprint against Tom Boonen in the 108km event. World champion Boonen (Quick Step) went on to take the win while O'Grady was left to rue an opportunity missed in his first race for the Danish squad.
"The whole team was up front during the final lap and Stuart was in a perfect position, right on Tom Boonen's wheel, when the sprint started," said CSC sports director Alain Gallopin. Speaking on the team's official website, Gallopin continued, "So it could have been a really good result, but then his chain broke. On the other hand, Stuart was lucky not to crash, and today's effort from the team makes me very optimistic for the Tour of Qatar."
Gallopin wasn't pleased with the piece of bad luck, but is very pleased with the form of his squad so early in the season. "We've come directly from a hard training camp, but we've noticed that some of the riders are already in great shape," he said. "We obviously need a bit of luck to repeat last year's huge success in the Tour of Qatar, but I wouldn't be surprised if we got one or two big results down here again this year."