Tour of Belgium Stage 1: Boonen 2nd in Bunch Sprint
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tom Boonen showed his quickly improving condition on Wednesday, finishing 2nd in the Stage 1 bunch sprint at Tour of Belgium.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team and Lotto-Belisol battled it out for sprint position, and in the final few kilometers Lotto-Belisol moved to the front to take command of the peloton. The two teams had helped chase down breakaways to ensure a sprint finale.
However, OPQS also moved up on the left side with the last leadout rider for Boonen being Nikolas Maes. The peloton took a left hand turn before launching the final sprint. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) had top position, and was able to best Boonen for the stage win despite Boonen covering making up several bike lengths in the final meters. Ramon Sinkeldam (Argos-Shimano) was 3rd, as he and Boonen battled shoulder-to-shoulder up to the finish line.
OPQS looks next to a 178.8km Stage 2 on Thursday.
"I'm happy about my race even if I did a mistake waiting for the sprint of Greipel," Boonen said. "It's not easy to beat him when he can launch his sprint. Tomorrow we will see. The parcour is not so difficult, so it won't be easy to make the race hard and avoid the possibility of a sprint."