Tour of Qatar 2008: MILRAM’s Marco Velo takes 18th in the final sprint

Dortmund, 01 February 2008. The German ProTour Team MILRAM finished off the Tour of Qatar /27.01 – 01.02, UCI 2.1) with an 18th place finish by Marco Velo. The sprinter teams controlled the sixth and last stage of the desert race, as expected. The day’s victory after 120 km went to overall winner Tom Boonen, who beat the Italian Alberto Loddo (Tinkoff) and the Brazilian Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval) in the mass sprint in Doha Corniche.

We ended off this Tour with another typical flat stage. Early on a few riders were able to escape and Quick-Step kept things under control At least it wasn’t as hectic as the last few days. Overall it was good preparation for us, since we saw a lot of action,“ said MILRAM’s Ralf Grabsch, who is satisfied with his first race of the season.

The man of the day was local rider Tareg Emaeli (Team Doha) of Qatar, who broke away for a long time and had an advantage of up to five minutes, before he was joined b y the American Taylor Tolleson (BMC) and the Australian Angus Morton (Porshe) 30 km before the finish. Only a few km later this trio was overtaken by the main field, which was led by the sprinter team Quick-Step. The team around overall leader Tom Boonen didn’t let anyone else get away and prepared a picture-perfect sprint for its captain.

The overall victory in the Tour went for the second time since 2006 to Tom Boonen. The former World Champion won with his teammates the team time trial which opened the Tour, as well as two additional stages. Second overall was Boonen’s dutch teammate Steven de Jongh, ahead of the Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto). The best MILRAM rider was Marco Velo, who finished 21st overall. Niki Terpstra finished 11th in the Young Rider ranking.

Information and results for the Tour of Qatar can be found in Internet under http://www.letour.fr

The Stages 2008:

27.01. Stage 1: Doha – Doha, MZF (6 km)

28.01. Stage 2: Al Zubarah – Doha Golf Club (137,5 km)

29. 01. Stage 3: Camel Race Track – Qatar Foundation (147,5 km)

30. 01. Stage 4: Khalifa Stadium – Al Khor Corniche (131,5 km)

31.01. Stage 5: Al Khor Academy – Al Khor Corniche (170 km)

01.02.Stage 6: Al Wakra – Doha Corniche (120 km)

Total length: 712,5 km

The Team MILRAM line-up:

Volodymyr Diudia (UKR), Matej Jurco (SVK), Alberto Ongarato (ITA), Marco Velo (ITA), Ralf Grabsch (GER), Christian Knees (GER), Niki Terpstra (NED).

Directeur Sportif: Oscar Pellicioli (ITA).

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