Doha - Britain's Mark Cavendish won the first stage of the Tour of Qatar on Monday ahead of Italian pair Sacha Modolo and Andrea Guardini.
The former world road race champion covered the 175 kilometres from Dukhan to the Al Khor corniche in 3hrs 28.31secs, eight seconds in front of Modolo and 11 seconds ahead of Guardini.
It was a first stage win of the season for Cavendish, and a first win also for his new South African Dimension Data team.
"It is the first stage win for Dimension Data on the World Tour and was the result of a great team performance," he said.
"You can't win in Qatar without a good team, it just isn't possible. I am so happy to have won this stage."
Tuesday's 135 kilometre second stage around the campus of the University of Qatar will see the peloton tackle the course prepared for the world road race championships in October.
The tour comprises five stages and will cover a total distance of 626.4 kilometres.
Cavendish is seeking a second win in the Tour of Qatar, having been victorious in 2013.