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Boonen and Cavendish set for Tour of Qatar

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A calm and collected Tom Boonen (Belgium) on the start line.

A calm and collected Tom Boonen (Belgium) on the start line.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen gets in a tuck

Tom Boonen gets in a tuck
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish was in high demand at the Tour of Qatar

Mark Cavendish was in high demand at the Tour of Qatar
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tour of Britain leader Mark Cavendish (Sky) in action during stage 5.

Tour of Britain leader Mark Cavendish (Sky) in action during stage 5.
(Image credit: Rob Lampard)

Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish will make their first joint appearance at the Tour of Qatar, February 3-8.  Both riders, who will race in the colours of Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013, won two stages of the race last year, with Boonen taking the overall title.

Boonen has won the title in Qatar four times, and has won the points jersey six times, taking 19 individual stages along the way. Cavendish can look back to four stage wins in the desert race.

The Belgian will start his season at the Tour of San Luis in Argentina in January, and will follow up Qatar with the Tour of Oman. He can expect to meet not only Belgian rival Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), but also Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Cadel Evans (BMC), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).

Further details of Cavendish' race calendar were not released. He joins the Belgian team after riding one year for Team Sky.