Boonen led the sprint but in the last 50 metres, Astana's Andrea Guardini overhauled him as Boonen faded.
"I'm disappointed because we did a lot of work in the final, but my feelings are really good," said Boonen. "We had done good work in the previous five kilometres for the sprint and I was strong."
The Etixx-QuickStep had a good Tour of Qatar, which Niki Terpstra won. The finish of the first stage of Tour of Oman seemed to suit Boonen well, and it looked like he could succeed. However, there was a tight slope towards the finish and Boonen had to avoid getting boxed in, and thus was forced to go early.
"Today it was an opportunity, especially as the stage was not difficult. In the final 300 meters, I had to go, but it was still too long, with the headwind and two to three per cent slope. If I went 50 yards later, I could win, but then I had everyone in the wheel, I was like a locomotive for them."
He failed one time, but he still has a number of opportunities. For example today's stage (2), and also stage five.
Boonen would like to take a victory before the classics. But he is quite happy that he isn't seen as one of the favourites.
"In Qatar, we were the favourites and each stage we did lots of work and each stage is hard. Today, it wasn't a difficult stage as it was controlled well by Katusha, who worked the whole stage," said Boonen. "In Oman, we do not need to come here as contenders and do the work every day like in Qatar but I want to try my luck a few times in the sprint."