Cavendish retains Qatar lead
Isle of Man racer Mark Cavendish bagged his third win in as many days on Thursday in winning the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar to retain the overall lead.
The British rider, who is in his first season with Omega Pharma-Quick Step after a move from Team Sky, landed the penultimate stage – 154km from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal – in taking a sprint finish to edge out Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus and Lithuania's Aidis Kruopis.
The 27-year-old Cavendish, who has picked up 23 stage wins on the Tour de France, a record for a sprinter and fourth all-time best, took his stages tally in Qatar to seven overall as he held on to the gold jersey he took Wednesday from American Brent Bookwalter.
The race concludes Friday at Doha.
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma), 154km in 3hr 11min 11sec
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR) same time
3. Aidis Kruopis (LTU) s.t.
4. Adam Blythe (GBR) s.t.
5. Luke Rowe (GBR) s.t.
6. John Degenkolb (GER) s.t.
7. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) s.t.
8. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) s.t.
9. Heinrich Haussler (AUS) s.t.
10. Roger Kluge (GER) s.t.
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma), 616km in 13hr 30min 59sec
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) at 15sec
3. Taylor Phinney (USA) 20
4. Adam Blythe (GBR) 22
5. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) 24
6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) 25
7. Michael Schär (SUI) s.t.
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) 29
9. Luke Rowe (GBR) 30
10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) s.t.