The Tour of Qatar was blown apart by a gutsy break by two smaller teams today in stage two, leaving all the big guns more than 1’40” behind in the GC. Geert Steuers of Belgian team Top Sport Vlaanderen-Mercator narrowly beat VacanSoleil’s Wouter Mol after the pair held the main field off. They broke away early in the 147 km stage and held an on-the-road advantage that increased at one point to 11 minutes.
The chasing peloton was hampered by the wind once again, but despite a chasing pack stuffed full of the big sprinters, they simply didn’t pull hard enough to reel the two minnows in.
Steueur finished around 1’53” ahead of third placed Roger Kluge (Team Milram) and CervÃƒÂ©lo’s Heinrich Haussler in fourth. His commanding win must make him favorite for the overall prize and sets up an intriguing few days of racing: will anyone be able to make back so much time in the flat, windy, entirely unpredictable Tour of Qatar 2010?