Tour de San Luis Stage 7: Boonen Top 10 of Slight Uphill Sprint Finale
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tom Boonen finished 9th in the final, 148.1km stage of Tour de San Luis on Sunday. The profile included a finish that averaged about 4% gradient in the final 400m, and was also slightly uphill for the last 3km.
The race came back together with 30km to go, making it clear that the undulating parcours would end in a mass sprint. OPQS riders Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen reached the sprint a few riders back in position, while eventual race winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) jumped from the front of the group. He was able to win by several bike lengths over Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and his own teammate Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida).
"Today it was important to be in the first three or four positions at the last corner at about 300 meters to go," Boonen said. "Unfortunately we didn't find the space to go up to the front into the last kilometer. Mark tried to lead me but I took the corner around 8th place, too far to try to win. However I think I had a good preparation here in Argentina. I think I'm in better condition than what I was expecting at this time of the season. Now I will come back in Europe and I will go immediately to Mallorca for a short training session, then I will leave for Tour of Qatar. I'm really looking forward to that race that brought me great results in the past."
"Today we tried our best," Cavendish said. "Guillaume went really well in the last kilometers. But we really ran out of men. We missed Alessandro Petacchi in the last kilometer. I tried to take Tom alone, but unfortunately it didn't work out. But, we're happy with the week. Although we haven't got a stage win, things went well. We've got good form and we've got good cohesion in the team."