Dominant start for Sky in Qatar team time trial

Edvald Boasson Hagen claims opening leader's jersey

Edvald Boasson Hagen is the first leader at the Tour of Qatar after Team Sky blasted to victory in the windswept opening team time trial on Sunday. With Bradley Wiggins doing massive turns on the front and the riders sticking to a carefully planned race strategy, Team Sky set a time of nine minutes and 41 seconds for the circular 8.2km course.

Team Sky started and finished with a strong tailwind but had to handle ever-changing conditions as they completed the lap around the West Bay Lagoon. On the final tailwind section, the squad flew to the finish at over 70km/h and set an average speed of 50.809km/h.

The Cervelo TestTeam set the second fastest time, but they were later penalized one minute because Heinrich Haussler pushed teammate Gabriel Rasch after doing a turn on the front. Haussler claimed it was for safety reasons, after a gust of wind blew Rasch towards him, but the judges refused to listen to their appeal, and the entire team was penalized one minute.

Garmin moved up to second overall but was eight seconds slower than Team Sky. Team Saxo Bank finished third; 13 seconds slower, despite losing the time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara partway round the course.

HTC-Columbia was fourth at 18 seconds, and Tom Boonen's Quick Step team was fifth at 20 seconds. The small French team Saur-Sojasun put in a surprisingly strong ride, finishing sixth at 21 seconds.

Boasson Hagen in gold

Edvald Boasson Hagen was the first rider to cross the line for Team Sky and so pulled on the leader's gold jersey.

"It's nice for the whole team. We worked so well together. We practiced a lot in training in the last few days, and we got it exactly right," Boasson Hagen said.

"It's going to be hard in the rest of the race with the wind, but I hope to stay in the front group and get some results. I've got the jersey now, and hopefully I can keep it but we'll take each day as it comes. There are so many good sprinters here but we'll see what happens. It's important to have a lead on some of them."

Team Sky riders waited together just after the finish and listened nervously as the other teams failed to beat their time. When last team Quick Step crossed the line, 20 seconds slower, team principal Dave Brailsford shouted out the news and the riders and staff celebrated with hugs and high fives.

After winning the opening criterium and final stage at the Tour Down Under, the team had struck again, showing they know how to win as a team.

Perfect ride in difficult conditions

Senior directeur sportif Scott Sunderland was all smiles after Team Sky put out a perfect ride in technically very difficult conditions.

"We had two guys, Russ Downing and Lars Petter Nordhaug, who had never done a team time trial and the other guys had never done it together, so it was quite new for us. But we did it and it's very special," he said to Cyclingnews.

"The guys prepared very well in training both yesterday and this morning when the conditions changed. Just getting the team to gel is the magic here. The strong guys did what they had to do and the weaker guys supported them fantastically, doing everything they had to do."

Team Sky filled the first six places in the overall standings after the team time trial. Tyler Farrar is seventh at eight seconds and has the best chance of taking the race lead if he can collect time bonuses during stage two and in the sprint at the end of the stage. Stuart O'Grady and JJ. Haedo (Saxo Bank) are at 13 seconds, while Tom Boonen (Quick Step) needs to pull back 20 seconds on Boasson Hagen if he is to win the Tour of Qatar again this year.

Time bonuses of three, two and one second(s) are available at intermediate sprints and 10, six and four seconds are awarded at stage finishes.

The fight for those bonus seconds will begin on Monday's second stage over 147km from the Camel Race Track to the Qatar Foundation near Doha.

1Sky Pro Cycling Team0:09:41 
3Team Saxo bank0:00:13 
4Team HTC - Columbia0:00:18 
5Quick Step0:00:20 
6Saur - Sojasun0:00:21 
7Liquigas - Doimos  
8BMC Racing Team  
9Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
10Team Milram0:00:25 
11Team Katusha0:00:33 
12Omega Pharma - Lotto  
13Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator Pro Cycling Team  
14AG2R - La mondiale0:00:37 
15Trek Livestrong U230:00:39 
16Cervélo Test Team0:01:08 
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:09:41 
2Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Pro Cycling Team  
3Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team  
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team  
5Lars-Peter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Pro Cycling Team  
6Russel Downing (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:00:02 
7Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:00:08 
8Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
9Murilo Antoniobil Fischer (Bra) Garmin - Transitions  
10Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
11Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions  
12Kirk Carlsen (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
13Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank0:00:13 
14Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
15Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
16Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank  
17Dominik Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank  
18Luis-Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank  
19Baden Cooke (Aus) Team Saxo Bank0:00:18 
20Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
21Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team HTC - Columbia  
22Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
23Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
24Lars Bak (Den) Team HTC - Columbia  
25Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
26Adam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
27Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step0:00:20 
28Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step  
29Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step  
30Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step  
31Kévin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step  
32Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur-Sojasun0:00:21 
33Rony Martias (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
34Cédric Coutouly (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
35Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
36Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
37Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
38Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur-Sojasun  
39Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
40Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
41Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
42Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
43Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo  
44Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
45Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
46Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
47Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
48Zahner Simon (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
49John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team  
50Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
51Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
52Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team  
53Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
54Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
55Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
56Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
57Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
58Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:00:24 
59Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram0:00:25 
60Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram  
61Wim De Vocht (Bel) Team Milram  
62Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram  
63Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram  
64Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram  
65Roy Sentjens (Bel) Team Milram  
66Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur-Sojasun0:00:26 
67Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:27 
68Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
69Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step0:00:32 
70Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha0:00:33 
71Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Katusha  
72Nicolaï Trussov (Rus) Katusha  
73Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha  
74Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha  
75Styn Vandenbergh (Bel) Katusha  
76Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
77Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
78Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
79Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
80Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
81Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
82Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
83Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
84Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
85Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
86Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
87Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
88Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
89Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
90Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:00:36 
91Nikita Eskov (Rus) Katusha0:00:37 
92Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
93Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
94Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
95Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
96Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
97Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
98Taylor Phinney (USA) Trek Livestrong0:00:39 
99Julian Kyer (USA) Trek Livestrong  
100Jesse Sergent (Nzl) Trek Livestrong  
101Alex Dowsett (GBr) Trek Livestrong  
102Ben King (Aus) Trek Livestrong  
103Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank0:00:56 
104Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team0:01:02 
105Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam0:01:08 
106Jérémy Hunt (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam  
107Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam  
108Theo Bos (Ned) Cervélo TestTeam  
109Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam  
110Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam  
111Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo TestTeam  
112Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:01:11 
113Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam0:01:13 
114Marco Bandiera (Ita) Katusha0:01:30 
115Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
116Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R-La Mondiale0:01:32 
117Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
118Justin Williams (USA) Trek Livestrong0:01:34 
119Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas-Doimo0:01:35 
120Ben King (USA) Trek Livestrong0:02:05 
121Cody Campbell (Can) Trek Livestrong0:02:13 
122Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step0:02:14 
123Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step  
124Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
125Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram0:02:25 
126Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:02:52 
127Matthé Pronk (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:03:14 
128Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
Young Riders Classification
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:09:41 
2Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team  
3Kirk Carlsen (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:00:08 
4Dominik Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank0:00:13 
5Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:18 
6Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
7Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
8Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
9Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur-Sojasun0:00:21 
10Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
11Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo  
12Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
13Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
14Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
15Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
16Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Pro Cycling Team0:00:24 
17Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram0:00:25 
18Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram  
19Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur-Sojasun0:00:26 
20Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:27 
21Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Katusha0:00:33 
22Nicolaï Trussov (Rus) Katusha  
23Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha  
24Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto  
25Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
26Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
27Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
28Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
29Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
30Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
31Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
32Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2R-La Mondiale0:00:37 
33Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
34Taylor Phinney (USA) Trek Livestrong0:00:39 
35Julian Kyer (USA) Trek Livestrong  
36Jesse Sergent (Nzl) Trek Livestrong  
37Alex Dowsett (GBr) Trek Livestrong  
38Ben King (Aus) Trek Livestrong  
39Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team0:01:02 
40Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam0:01:08 
41Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo TestTeam  
42Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R-La Mondiale0:01:32 
43Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale  
44Justin Williams (USA) Trek Livestrong0:01:34 
45Ben King (USA) Trek Livestrong0:02:05 
46Cody Campbell (Can) Trek Livestrong0:02:13 
47Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quick Step0:02:14 
48Steven Cozza (USA) Garmin - Transitions0:02:52 
Teams Classification
1Sky Pro Cycling Team0:09:41 
3Team Saxo bank0:00:13 
4Team HTC - Columbia0:00:18 
5Quick Step0:00:20 
6Saur - Sojasun0:00:21 
7Liquigas - Doimos  
8BMC Racing Team  
9Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:22 
10Team Milram0:00:25 
11Team Katusha0:00:33 
12Omega Pharma - Lotto  
13Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator Pro Cycling Team  
14AG2R - La mondiale0:00:37 
15Trek Livestrong U230:00:39 
16Cervélo Test Team0:01:08 


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