Cavendish cruises to victory
Doha - Isle of Man racer Mark Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma team, sealed overall victory on the Tour of Qatar on Friday after winning the sixth and final stage on the Doha Corniche.
The 2011 world champion won the 116.5-kilometre ride from Sealine Beach to Doha in a sprint finish ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus and Barry Markus of the Netherlands.
It was Cavendish's eighth stage win in total on the Tour of Qatar, and his fourth in as many days, and it came about despite him suffering a fall 15 kilometres in to the day.
He finishes top of the overall standings ahead of two American riders from the BMC team in the shape of Brent Bookwalter and Taylor Phinney, who emerged with the jersey for the best young rider.
"I'm over the moon," said Cavendish, who also wins the race points jersey and praised his teammates for helping him in his push to victory.
"We come here every year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen, but he's recovering from an injury. So it put a little bit of pressure on me and I was a bit nervous.
"But I'm really happy to get the win. The guys worked incredible here. They really looked after me so, so well here and delivered every single day.
"I am so happy and proud I can bring it home again for the team again."
No rider had ever won four consecutive stages on the Tour of Qatar, although Belgian Boonen, a four-time winner of the Tour, won four stages in 2007, if not all in succession.
Boonen was unable to defend his title this year due to an elbow injury.
STAGE 6 RESULTS
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma) 2h 24.31min
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR) same time
3. Barry Markus (NED) same time
4. Adam Blythe (GBR) same time
5. Taylor Phinney (USA) same time
6. Robert Van Hummel (NED) same time
7. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) same time
8. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) same time
9. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) same time
10. Guillaume Boivin (CAN) same time
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma) 732.5km in 15h 55.20min
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) at 25sec
3. Taylor Phinney (USA) at 26sec
4. Adam Blythe (GBR) at 30sec
5. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) at 32sec
6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) same time
7. Michael Schaer (SUI) at 35sec
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) at 39sec
9. Luke Rowe (GBR) at 40sec
10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) same time