Hutarovich and Kruopis, fellas, give it up. There are no sprint stages for you as the most esteemed Mark Cavendish of the British Empire has already won his third. Expect nothing more than crumbs not fit for a famished camel.
Back at the Duel in the Desert, the Belgium of the Middle East, it was Cavendish once again winning big on stage 5’s flat run to Madinat Al Shamal. No freelancing required this time as his Omega Pharma Quickpeddlers left him just a short 250 meters from the finish line. Done and dusted in the desert.
The train was working today with Niki Terpstra doing the final honors. Adam Blythe (BMC) and Luke Rowe (Sky) took fourth and fifth in the “Guys Left Behind By Cav” competetion.
His third win in a row puts Cavenish up 15 seconds on stage one winner Brent Bookwalter (BMC). An overall win the the Big Q looks guaranteed and Cavendish is cued up for a great season..
“I’ve always had commitment from the guys these last two days, but today they rode like a unit like I know QuickStep can, and I was so proud to be at the back of that,” Cavendish said afterwards.
“We knew from last year that if we could get through this stage, we would be in with a very good chance of winning the Tour of Qatar. The guys just stayed there at the front and controlled it, controlled it, controlled it. I had four of five guys surrounding me the whole day, just keeping me sheltered. They’re big guys, I never saw the wind and they just rode perfectly.”
Famed Arabian cycling journalist Abdul Al Salaam was impressed with the speed of the Manxman. “Many a young Qatari maiden would faint at the sight of his dagger. His cut is swift and sure.”