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„I had an idea not to reach a top disposition too quickly. I do want to win, but only the next few weeks are when I have to take that step forward,” Boonen said.

Photo: Qatar Cycling Federation/Paumer/B.Bade

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16.02.2015 @ 06:58 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

With four victories in the general classification and no less than 22 stages won at the Tour of Qatar, Tom Boonen serves as good enough example of how good preview of the upcoming Flemish classics campaign the windswept stage race provides with. While his team-mate and arguably the most consistent rider on cobbles last spring, Niki Terpstra, took the spoils for the second year in a row, the Etixx-Quick Step captain presented a good form and hopes to step up in upcoming weaks.

 

As it usually happens, Boonen rode very strongly in Qatar last year what raised particular expactations in regards to results he should obtain throughout spring, but family issues spoiled the cobbled classics campaign for the Belgian rider.

 

Even though the Etixx-Quick Step rider went away without a victory in Qatari race this time around, without any doubts he was again the main force in the peloton while negotiating windswept roads leading through the desert.

 

His results obtained in the Tour of Qatar may suggest something different, but Boonen admits that the event gives all riders a very hard time and is anything but enjoyable.

 

„It was like every year in Qatar. One can never feel really comfortable out there, it's a very testing time,” Boonen told Sporza. „Everybody reached maximum of his abilities and was fatigued, especially due to severe weather conditions we suffered in first two days.”

 

The 34-year old Belgian admitted that he would have liked to win a stage in Qatar this year, especially after finishing second in the opening day of compatition, but admitted that riding for the general classification leader Terpstra took its toll. He also claimed that he was careful not to hit the top disposition too early this season, as it's all about being ready to dominate one-day races in few weeks from now.

 

„We had to work really hard in order to defend the [leader's] jersey and it took a lot of strength from us. Therefore, preparations for the sprints weren't ideal.”

 

„I had an idea not to reach a top disposition too quickly. I do want to win, but only the next few weeks are when I have to take that step forward,” Boonen concluded.

 

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