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
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.