Tour of Qatar review

Tom Boonen continued his rehabilitation after a disappointing 2011, claiming his fourth overall win at the Tour of Qatar. His performance at the race continued Omega Pharma-Quick Step‘s outstanding start to the season, having also dominated at the Tour de San Luis a fortnight ago. World champion Mark Cavendish took two stages on his Sky debut, but the Manxman started and finished in the wars, having been ill before the race and then crashing within sight of the finish on the last stage.

Qatar is a long way from being the most scenic race on the calendar. The parcours consists exclusively of pan-flat stages on long, straight highways scything through a featureless desert landscape. Continue reading

Friday Feature: Is this the end of the road for Saxo Bank?

Someone on Twitter joked the other day that Alberto Contador had put all his eggs into the basket of his ‘contaminated meat’ defence, only for it to turn out to be a red herring. Similarly, one could also argue that Bjarne RiisSaxo Bank team had put all their eggs into the Contador basket, with potentially even more serious implications. With their golden goose now suspended until August, Saxo Bank’s ProTeam status and their future existence are at stake. At the very least, Riis faces an uphill struggle to ensure his team remains in the upper echelon of professional cycling for 2013.

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