Tour of Qatar Stage 4 - Mark Renshaw takes stage and race lead ahead of tomorrow's finale
Time bonuses give HTC-Highroad rider advantage over Haussler with one stage left
Mark Renshaw of HTC-Highroad is the new leader of the Tour of Qatar, valuable bonus seconds enabling him to leapfrog Garmin-Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler at the top of the overall standings as he won a keenly-contested sprint finish this afternoon.
Today’s 153.5km stage from West Bay Lagoon to Al Kharaitiyat provided another compelling finale with the time bonuses on offer ensuring that the lead changed hands once again in what has turned out to be an unpredictable 10th edition of the race.
Haussler, who had started the day four seconds ahead of Renshaw, now lies six seconds behind him with just tomorrow’s final stage to come. Daniele Bennati, narrowly beaten in the sprint today, lies 15 seconds back in third place overall.
He’s followed by Team Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha, with the British former Cervelo-TestTeam pairing of Jeremy Hunt and Roger Hammond, now riding respectively for Team Sky and Garmin Cervelo, occupying fifth and sixth place overall.
Three-time winner Tom Boonen who saw his hopes of adding a fourth title yesterday following a puncture just as the peloton was splitting into echelons to cope with strong cross-winds, came home in third place today.
Tomorrow’s final stage covers 126.5kmn from the Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche.
Stage and race standings to follow