Italy's Francesco Chicchi won his second stage of the Tour of Qatar today, but the at the end of the final stage the overall win went to the Dutchman, Wouter Mol who made his long break on stage 2 really count.
Today's final stage took the riders from Al Wakra to Doha on a 123.5Km route finishing with seven laps of a 6Km circuit of the Doha Corniche – as ever in Qatar it was windy. Almost from the gun four riders made a break for it: Gretsch (THR), Kohler (BMC), Terpstra (MRM) and King (TLS) and the peloton were content to let them go.
The four stayed out for most of the day picking up sprint points between them just after the half way point of the stage they had 3min 50s on the chasing pack, or indeed the not particularly chasing pack. That proved to be the limit of their gains and from then on they were reeled in, at first steadily with Mol's Vacansoleil team leading the peloton; and then more dramatically as Liquigas, Cervelo, Saur-Sojasun and Saxo Bank moved to the front as they field began to lap the Corniche.
When they hit the Corniche the escapers still have over 3 mins on the pack, by the fifth lap of that was 1 min 30s and at the start of the final lap a mere 16 seconds, that was never going to be enough giving the quality of the sprint teams in this field and so it proved. Chicchi's Liquigas team got him in position to make his sprint count and he was first to the line besting Garmin's Tyler Farrar and Haedo of Saxo Bank who came in second and third respectively.
Wouter Mol though took the overall title after riding a safe race in the bunch being where he needed to be when it counted, Heinrich Haussler of Cervelo took the points competition and Roger Kluge of Milram was best young rider. Roger Hammond of the Cervelo Test Team was the highest placed British rider in 13th place overall, and Ian Stannard was the top rider in the overall for Sky in 35th place, Edvald Boasson Hagen finished 39th and Bradley Wiggins eased himself in finishing in 114th place overall.
Final Top 10 overall Tour of Qatar
1) Wouter Mol VACANSOLEIL PRO CYCLING TEAM 15h 55' 17"
2) Geert Steurs TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-MERCATOR 15h 55' 52" + 00' 35"
3) Tom Boonen QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 15h 57' 02" + 01' 45"
4) Roger Kluge TEAM MILRAM 15h 57' 16" + 01' 59"
5) Marcus Burghardt BMC RACING TEAM 15h 57' 22" + 02' 05"
6) Danilo Napolitano KATUSHA TEAM 15h 57' 26" + 02' 09"
7) Philippe Gilbert OMEGA PHARMA - LOTTO 15h 57' 34" + 02' 17"
8) Francesco Chicchi LIQUIGAS-DOIMO 15h 57' 45" + 02' 28"
9) Heinrich Haussler CERVELO TEST TEAM 15h 57' 54" + 02' 37"
10)Stuart O’Grady TEAM SAXO BANK 15h 57' 57" + 02' 40"
Top 10 Tour of Qatar Stage 6
1) Francesco Chicchi LIQUIGAS-DOIMO 2h 42' 49"
2) Tyler Farrar GARMIN - TRANSITIONS 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
3) Juan Jose Haedo TEAM SAXO BANK 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
4) Matthew Goss TEAM HTC - COLUMBIA 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
5) Jimmy Casper SAUR-SOJASUN 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
6) Edvald Boasson Hagen TEAM SKY 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
7) Tom Boonen QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
8)Roger Kluge TEAM MILRAM 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
9) Heinrich Haussler CERVELO TEST TEAM 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
1) John Murphy BMC RACING TEAM 2h 42' 49" + 00' 00"
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.