Tom Boonen (Quick Step Floors) crashed in today’s opening stage of the Tour of Oman inside the final kilometre but escaped with relatively minor injuries and will line up at the start of tomorrow’s stage.
Stage 1 of the race from Al Sawadi Beach to Naseem Park included just one short categorized climb and was predicted to finish in a bunch sprint with Boonen and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) expected to contend for the win.
Five riders escaped early on – Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport), Alan Marangoni (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Christophe Masson (WB Veranclassic), Aime De Gendt (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Giuseppe Fonzi (Wilier Triestina) – gaining a maximum advantage of four minutes.
Behind, Quick-Step Floors and Katusha started to drive the peloton and with ten kilometres remaining, the escapees were caught.
With just seven hundred metres left and as the riders fought for position, a crash occurred, bringing down Boonen. Kristoff went on to win the stage ahead of Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
Boonen was able to remount and crossed the finish line. His team later said that “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.”