Tom Boonen crashes in Oman opener
A messy final disrupted the sprint of the peloton, and the Quick-Step Floors rider was among those to hit the ground.
Stage 1 of the Tour of Oman included a short categorized climb and a long descent, so everyone was expecting a bunch sprint to kick-off the eighth edition of the Middle East race. A five-man escape, consisting of Aime De Gendt (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Giuseppe Fonzi (Wilier Triestina), Alan Marangoni (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Christophe Masson (WB Veranclassic) and Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport), snapped the elastic early and managed to build a four-minute advantage, which began to drop once Quick-Step Floors and Katusha hit the front of the peloton.
The catch was made inside the final 10 kilometers of the day, but due to the strong headwind and the jostling for position in the last part of the stage won by Alexander Kristoff, a crash occurred, and Tom Boonen hit the deck with 700 meters to go, just as he was preparing for the sprint.
Fortunately, the seven-time Monument winner remounted and crossed the finish line, before traveling to the hotel with the team. Despite some bruises and abrasions, Boonen – a stage winner this season at the Vuelta a San Juan – will start stage 2 of the Tour of Oman, which is set to take the riders over 145.5 kilometers, between Nakhal and Al Bustan.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele