Mark Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar title for the second time
Manxman second on final stage behind Alexander Kristoff
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 12/02/16 3:22pm
Mark Cavendish won the Tour of Qatar for the second time on Friday after finishing a narrow runner-up to Alexander Kristoff on stage five.
The pair crossed the line at the Doha Corniche seemingly dead level, but the race jury decided Kristoff (Katusha) had done just enough to claim his third stage win of this year's race.
The Norwegian, nine seconds down at the start of the day, collected 10 bonus seconds for the win, but the six bonus seconds Cavendish (Dimension Data) received for second place ensured he repeated his 2013 overall victory.
Kristoff finished five seconds back in second overall, while Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) was eight seconds down in third.
The victory was Cavendish's first in a stage race since last February Dubai Tour and only the fourth of his career.
Key to his success was a fine performance on stage three's 11km individual time trial, when he finished seventh on the day and 14 seconds ahead of Kristoff.
However, he said afterwards that the more deserving overall winner would have been team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who had been leading the race prior to suffering a costly puncture 8km from the end of stage four.
Cavendish said: "Obviously, it's nice to be wearing gold now, but I know I am only wearing it on behalf of Edvald. He only lost it because of bad luck and not through any other kind of cause. He should be the guy wearing this gold jersey, but we are just super happy to keep it in Team Dimension Data."
On the final stage, Cavendish allowed Kristoff to lead out the sprint and then tried to surge past on the outside, but after drawing level, he was unable to continue his momentum and the pair were separated by just millimetres at the line.
Cavendish added: "We were really motivated for today and I have won this stage before a couple of times. The lads did it perfectly on the final laps when it was hectic, keeping me in the front and out of danger, so I was ready for the sprint."
Stage five result
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, 2:56:16
2 Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data, same time
3 Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, st
4 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo-Vital Concept, st
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
6 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18, st
7 Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, st
9 Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton, st
10 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare, st
Final general classification
1 Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data, 13:47:23
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, +5secs
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, +8
4 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing, +12
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, +25
6 Soren Kragh Andersen (Nor) Giant-Alpecin, +36
7 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18, +47
8 Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor) Katusha, +55
9 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha, +56
10 Michael Schar (Sui) BMC Racing, +1:04
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