Vuelta a España Stage 12: Tornado Tom Takes 2nd in Logroño Flat Stage
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider "Tornado" Tom Boonen finished 2nd behind John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) in the 166.4km Vuelta a España Stage 12 flat stage on Thursday. Boonen had great position, sitting 3rd wheel behind Degenkolb and his final leadout man.
Boonen launched to the right side in the final few hundred meters, but Degenkolb timed his sprint perfectly and was able to hold off the Belgian rider for the stage win. Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana Pro Team) placed 3rd.
The race came back together with 12km to go after Matthias Krezik (Cannondale) went on a long solo breakaway attempt. There were some technical corners going into sprint.
OPQS looks next to 188.7km Stage 13 on Friday, which features several categorized climbs in the middle of the parcours and an uphill, uncategorized climb going into the finish line. The road goes downhill just before the finish.
"I was in good position and even the power was good," Boonen said. "But today to take the win I had launch first. The speed was really high and it was clear the guy who started first would have won the race. Degenkolb was watching me and technically he was perfect. He used the road perfectly, launched at the perfect time, and was super strong. If I would have started a little bit earlier I would have won I think, but that's the way it goes in the sprint. It's the first time I've sprinted this week and it's nice to be there to contest a sprint again. But to be honest, I can't be happy, because I was aiming to win."
A crash in the peloton before the sprint caused a bit of a split in the group. Nikolas Maes was one of the riders who fell due to the crash. Maes has a few scratches on his back and legs after the crash in the final, but fortunately it's without great consequences.