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World champion goes early to win scrappy sprint, Boonen keeps race lead

Mark Cavendish went for an early sprint in the Tour of Qatar this afternoon, launching himslf through a gap a little under half a kilometre from the line to take his second stage of this week's race and leave his rivals standing in what was a hard-fought and somewhat scrappy finish. Daniel Oss of Liquigas-Cannondale finished second, with his team mate Peter Sagan third. Tom Boonen retains the overall lead and barring misfortune will seal his fourth win in the race he has made his own on tomorrow's final stage.

In today's 160km stage from the Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, two escapees, the Polish rider Maciej Bodnar of Liquigas-Cannondale and the Belarus champion Aliaksandr Kuchysnski of Katusha were caught with 10 kilometres to go as the sprinters' teams started jostling for position ahead of the finale.

Coming into the final three kilomteres, Rabobank and Farnese Vini - minus Pippo Pozzato who had crashed earlier and has subsequently confirmed he has broken his collarbone - were at the front with teams behind them fighting for their places ahead of a tricky roundabout that had to be negotiated 1.3km from the line.

Garmin led the peloton through that final obstacle, but almost immediately Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha hit the front, looking to set up Cavendish, the Manxman appreciative of his team mates' work, TV footage catching him greeting them with the words "F*cking nice job, lads" as he met up with them after the finish.

Afterwards, a slightly more composed Cavendish said: "The guys took it in turns to come up and keep me sheltered up at the front - I always had one of them with me at every point in those last kilometres and that was incredible.

Quoted on the Team Sky website, he continued: "The wind was a real factor at the end and was changing direction a lot so you couldn’t really do a big lead-out train. It was a scrap and everyone was pretty fresh. With the tailwind I could go from around 250-300 metres out and I just carried it to the line.

"It’s nice to get two wins," he added. "I won two stages here in 2009 and that was one of my most successful seasons so it’s good to get off to a great start with Team Sky and in the world champion’s jersey."

Tour of Qatar Stage 5 Result  

1  CAVENDISH Mark        SKY PROCYCLING           3h 30' 40"
2  OSS Daniel            LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE   All at same time
3  SAGAN Peter           LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE
4  DEGENKOLB John        PROJECT 1T4I
5  SELIG Rüdiger         KATUSHA TEAM
6  DAVIS Allan           GREENEDGE CYCLING TEAM
7  DEMARE Arnaud         FDJ-BIGMAT
8  GUARDINI Andrea       FARNESE VINI-SELLE ITALIA
9  GALIMZYANOV Denis     KATUSHA TEAM
10 HENDERSON Gregory     LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM
11 RENSHAW Mark          RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM
12 SIEBERG Marcel        LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM
13 BOONEN Tom            OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP
14 FARRAR Tyler          GARMIN - BARRACUDA
15 KEMPS Aaron           CHAMPION SYSTEM
16 KRISTOFF Alexander    KATUSHA TEAM
17 RAST Gregory          RADIOSHACK-NISSAN
18 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas  GARMIN - BARRACUDA
19 NIZZOLO Giacomo       RADIOSHACK-NISSAN
20 KRUOPIS Aidis         GREENEDGE CYCLING TEAM

Tour of Qatar overall standings after Stage 5  

1  BOONEN Tom            OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 13h 21' 30"
2  FARRAR Tyler          GARMIN - BARRACUDA        + 00' 31"
3  FLECHA Juan Antonio   SKY PROCYCLING            + 00' 34"
4  STEEGMANS Gert        OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP   + 00' 36"
5  EISEL Bernhard        SKY PROCYCLING            + 00' 45"
6  VEELERS Tom           PROJECT 1T4I              + 01' 00"
7  CAVENDISH Mark        SKY PROCYCLING            + 01' 05"
8  CANCELLARA Fabian     RADIOSHACK-NISSAN         + 01' 06"
9  NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas  GARMIN - BARRACUDA        + 01' 09"
10 KRUOPIS Aidis         GREENEDGE CYCLING TEAM    + 01' 10"

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.

4 comments

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Simon E [2853 posts] 4 years ago
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Great photo
http://twitter.com/#!/TeamSky/status/167608005473476608/

I feel like saying "Same shit, different day". Or maybe "New team, same old Cav".

 16

Avatar
seanieh66 [196 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

 13

"F*cking nice job, lads" as he met up with them after the finish.

Good job he didn't say this at SPOTY 2011  3

S.

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 4 years ago
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Averaging over 28mph for the duration as well - wish I could manage that for half that distance!

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veseunr [259 posts] 4 years ago
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And I could manage half the speed for the full distance!!