Al Khor - British rider Mark Cavdenish won the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar on Thursday while Tom Boonen closed in on the overall victory by protecting his lead on the penultimate day.
Cavendish secured his second stage win in three days by taking a mass sprint at the end of a 160km ride from a camel race track in the east of the country to Al Khor in the north. The Team Sky rider arrived in Doha with a bout of flu but still beat Liquigas-Cannondale duo Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan to the finish line.
Boonen retained a 31-second lead over Tyler Farrar going into Friday's final stage. Spanish rider Juan Antonio Flecha is third, while Cavendish moved up to seventh.
Results from the fifth and penultimate stage of the Tour of Qatar on Thursday:
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) 3hr 30min 40sec, 2. Daniel Oss (ITA) same time, 3. Peter Sagan (SVQ) s.t., 4. John Dengenkolb (GER) s.t., 5. Rudiger Selig (GER) s.t., 6. Allan Davis (AUS) s.t., 7. Arnaud Demare (FRA) s.t., 8. Andrea Guardini (ITA) s.t., 9. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS) s.t., 10. Gregory Henderson (NZL) s.t.
13. Tom Boonen (BEL) s.t.
50. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) s.t.
1. Tom Boonen (BEL) 13hr 21min 30sec, 2. Tyler Farrar (USA) at 31sec, 3. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) 34, 4. Gert Steegmans (BEL) 36, 5. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) 45, 6. Tom Veelers (NED) 1:00, 7. Mark Cavendish (GBR) 1:05, 8. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 1:06, 9. Ramunas Navardauska (LIT) 1:09, 10. Aidis Kruopis (LIT) 1:10
23. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 2:23.