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Cavendish roars to victory at Al Khor Corniche

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World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) won stage five at the Tour of Qatar, his second victory of the race.

World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) won stage five at the Tour of Qatar, his second victory of the race.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Stage 5 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the podium.

Stage 5 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the podium.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) remains in the leader's jersey with one stage to go in Qatar.

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) remains in the leader's jersey with one stage to go in Qatar.
(Image credit: AFP)

Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) sprinted to victory in the penultimate stage of the 2012 Tour of Qatar on Thursday, using his positional instincts and the help of his teammates to make a decisive dash for the line in a crowded bunch finish.

It was Cavendish’s second victory this week, having won stage three on Tuesday, and it more than made up for the disappointment of yesterday when he trailed home in 31st place. Seven of the remaining nine top 10 spots were taken by young riders, with Liquigas-Canondale duo Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan claiming the remaining podium spots.

Cavendish moves up to seventh in the GC with one stage to go but remains more than a minute adrift of Belgium’s Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who retained the golden jersey by a margin of 31 seconds from Garmin-Barracuda’s Taylor Farrar despite his worst finish (13th) of the week.

“I’m really happy to have won," Cavendish said. "It’s my second stage win here this week, and my team did a great job protecting me and keeping me up there for the final push. It’s a strong team that wants to do well, wants to win the sprints and the classics. It’s a team that can ride well in the wind and in the final, so it’s really good for us.”

After two wins and two second places in the four previous stages, Boonen was upstaged today but stayed close enough to consolidate his GC lead over Farrar, who was one place behind the Belgian in 14th place.

“I told the guys today that we could control the stage as a team,” Boonen said. “Over the last few days we have really been helped by Garmin and so we hadn’t expended too much energy. Today I wanted to be really comfortable at the head of the peloton.

“Everybody was very fresh in the final so it made for a very hectic finish. This finish line has been good to me and it has been bad to me in the past. There are seven kinks, and you have to be in the correct position. I was almost getting to the front but got blocked on the left side. But the most important thing for today was to consolidate the golden jersey for tomorrow and preserve the good work we have done this week.”

Stage five started just after noon at the Camel Race Track in the arid and dusty interior of the country, and the riders were greeted by dozens of camels as they made their last minute preparations. Aided by a tailwind, the riders sped through more than 52kms in the first hour of racing. A breakaway group of five riders opened up a sizable gap of 2:40 approaching the first intermediate sprint, which was won by Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) ahead of Thomas Bertolini (Farense Vini-Selle Italia) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas-Canondale).

The five riders were still clear at the second sprint, which came at the 124km mark and was won by RadioShack Nissan’s Robert Wagner. In the last 10 kilometres, the peloton closed together and the stage was set for a bunch sprint at the end of the 160km stage, which is the longest of the race.

Boonen moved to the inside menacingly but found his momentum checked at a critical stage, and as all eyes were focussed on the race leader Cavendish, who swept clear 200 metres from the finish and held his arms aloft triumphantly in his trademark celebration.

The stage was marred by several crashes, the worst of which came just before the riders turned onto north road. It resulted in a broken collarbone for Filippo Pozzato (Farense Vini-Selle Italia) as several other riders, including Thor Hushovd (BMC), ended up on the tarmac.

“The last few kilometres were very hectic and everyone was nervous,” Cavendish said. “There was a bit of wind but not enough to break us up so there was a big peloton left at the finish and everybody fancied their chances. It was very chaotic, and there were a few crashes and I hope that nobody is hurt from them."

The 11th Tour of Qatar concludes tomorrow after the 120km sixth stage from the Sealine Beach Resort to the Doha Corniche. It appears that only a crash, and injury or a major mechanical failure can stop Boonen from securing a fourth win in the GC. But the best young rider's jersey is still very much up for grabs, with just five seconds separating current holder Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) and Adam Blythe (BMC).

Full Results
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling3:30:40
2Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
4John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i
5Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
6Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team
7Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
8Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
9Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha
10Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team
11Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank
12Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
13Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
14Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
15Aaron Kemps (Aus) Champion System
16Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
17Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
18Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda
19Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
20Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team
21Roy Curvers (Ned) Project 1t4i
22Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
23Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i
24Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
25Albert Timmer (Ned) Project 1t4i
26Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
27Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team
28Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-BigMat
29Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Lotto Belisol Team
30Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
31Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
32Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team
33Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) GreenEdge Cycling Team
34Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
35Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
36Christian Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
37David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
38Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
39Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
40Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System
41Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda
42Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1t4i
43Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
44Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
45Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
46Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Procycling
47Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
48Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
49David McCann (Irl) RTS Racing Team
50Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
51Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
52Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-BigMat
53Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha
54Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
55Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
56Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
57Luca Ascani (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
58Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda
59Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
60Markel Irizar (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
61Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
62Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
63Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
64Wei Kei Chang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team
65Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team
66Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
67Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team
68Joss Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank
69Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
70Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
71Kazuo Inoue (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor
72Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System
73Roger Kluge (Ger) Project 1t4i
74Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan
75Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
76Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
77Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha
78Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
79Murilo Antoniobil Fischer (Bra) Garmin-Barracuda
80Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
81Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling0:00:15
82Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank0:00:18
83Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:00:22
84Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i0:00:25
85Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:27
86Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System0:00:29
87Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:33
88Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda
89Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
90Jérémy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling
91Robbie McEwen (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:00:37
92Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
93Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda
94Diego Caccia (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:00:39
95Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:01
96Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor0:01:30
97Thomas Lebas (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor
98Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor
99Joost Posthuma (Ned) RadioShack-Nissan
100Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor
101Lee Rodgers (GBr) RTS Racing Team
102Pengda Jiao (Chn) Champion System
103Jai Crawford (Aus) RTS Racing Team
104Alex Coutts (GBr) RTS Racing Team
105Klaas Sys (Bel) Bridgestone Anchor
106Chin-Lung Huang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team
107Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank0:01:52
108Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
109Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:58
110Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:02:58
111Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:03:05
112Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
113Dominic Klemme (Ger) Project 1t4i0:04:19
114Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
115Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha
116Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
117Sergey Kudentsov (Rus) RTS Racing Team
118Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team
119Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:05:33
DNSFrancesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
DNSGorik Gardeyn (Bel) Champion System
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
DNFBlaise Sonnery (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor

Sprint 1 - Umm Al Qahab, 37km
1Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha3pts
2Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia2
3Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale1

Sprint 2 - Umm Thenaitain Farm, 124km
1Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan3pts
2Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha2
3Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale1

Points - Al Khor Corniche, 160km
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling15pts
2Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale12
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale9
4John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i7
5Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha6
6Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team5
7Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat4
8Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia3
9Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha2
10Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team1

Young riders
1Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale3:30:40
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
3John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i
4Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
5Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
6Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
7Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha
8Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
9Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda
10Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
11Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
12Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
13Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
14Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
15Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
16Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
17Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
18Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
19Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i0:00:25
20Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:27
21Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:01
22Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor0:01:30
23Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor
24Chin-Lung Huang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team
25Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank0:01:52
26Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:02:58
27Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:03:05
28Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
29Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:05:33

Teams
1Katusha Team10:32:00
2Liquigas-Cannondale
3Project 1t4i
4Lotto-Belisol Team
5GreenEdge Cycling Team
6RadioShack-Nissan
7FDJ-Bigmat
8Garmin - Barracuda
9Sky Procycling
10Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
11Omega Pharma-Quick Step
12BMC Racing Team
13Champion System
14RTS Racing Team
15Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:18
16Bridgestone Anchor0:03:00

General classification after stage 5
1Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep13:21:30
2Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:31
3Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Procycling0:00:34
4Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:36
5Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:00:45
6Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i0:01:00
7Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:05
8Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:06
9Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda0:01:09
10Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:01:10
11Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:01:14
12Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda0:01:19
13Baden Cooke (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:01:20
14Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank0:01:32
15Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:33
16John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i0:01:40
17Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:01:45
18Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda0:01:56
19Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha0:02:15
20Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha0:02:16
21Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:02:17
22Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System0:02:19
23Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:02:23
24Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i0:02:27
25Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:02:28
26David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:02:30
27Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank0:02:45
28Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling0:02:47
29Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:02:52
30Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:02:55
31Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan0:02:59
32Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:03:01
33Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team0:03:02
34Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team
35Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:03:08
36Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-BigMat
37Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1t4i0:03:09
38Albert Timmer (Ned) Project 1t4i0:03:20
39Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:03:27
40Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda0:03:29
41Murilo Antoniobil Fischer (Bra) Garmin-Barracuda0:03:36
42Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale0:03:41
43Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:03:43
44Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
45Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank0:03:44
46Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:03:45
47Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:03:49
48Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
49Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team0:03:50
50Markel Irizar (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
51Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:03:52
52Jens Mouris (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team
53Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
54Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:03:53
55Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
56Robbie McEwen (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:03:56
57Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:03:59
58Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-BigMat
59Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling0:04:00
60Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:04:05
61Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:04:07
62Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Lotto Belisol Team0:04:14
63Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:04:16
64Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:04:21
65Roger Kluge (Ger) Project 1t4i
66Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank0:04:26
67Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:04:30
68Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
69Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:04:33
70Aaron Kemps (Aus) Champion System0:04:39
71Joss Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank
72Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:04:44
73Diego Caccia (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:04:46
74Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:04:49
75Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda0:04:53
76Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:04:54
77Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Barracuda0:05:03
78Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:05:05
79Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha
80David McCann (Irl) RTS Racing Team0:05:10
81Roy Curvers (Ned) Project 1t4i0:05:22
82Gregory Rast (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:05:28
83Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:05:44
84Jérémy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling0:05:56
85Thomas Lebas (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor0:06:17
86Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha0:06:33
87Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha0:06:42
88Luca Ascani (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:06:48
89Joost Posthuma (Ned) RadioShack-Nissan0:06:59
90Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team0:07:14
91Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:17
92Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:07:31
93Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System0:08:12
94Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:08:30
95Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:08:42
96Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor0:09:50
97Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:11:08
98Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan0:11:37
99Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:12:29
100Christian Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:12:33
101Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan0:12:45
102Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale0:12:59
103Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team0:13:20
104Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:14:11
105Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank0:15:13
106Dominic Klemme (Ger) Project 1t4i0:16:02
107Jai Crawford (Aus) RTS Racing Team0:16:08
108Klaas Sys (Bel) Bridgestone Anchor0:17:40
109Kazuo Inoue (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:20:26
110Lee Rodgers (GBr) RTS Racing Team0:20:58
111Alex Coutts (GBr) RTS Racing Team0:21:01
112Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:21:20
113Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:22:27
114Pengda Jiao (Chn) Champion System0:23:30
115Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:25:00
116Gang Xu (Chn) Champion System0:25:12
117Chin-Lung Huang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team0:29:35
118Wei Kei Chang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team0:40:13
119Sergey Kudentsov (Rus) RTS Racing Team0:44:47

Points classification
1Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep45pts
2Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling30
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda19
4Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale18
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale18
6Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank13
7John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i13
8Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i12
9Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team12
10Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team10
11Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha10
12Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan9
13Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Procycling7
14Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Lotto Belisol Team6
15Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha6
16Robert Wagner (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan6
17Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6
18Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6
19Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling5
20Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team5
21Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha4
22Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ-BigMat4
23Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat4
24Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha4
25Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team3
26Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team3
27Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling3
28David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-BigMat3
29Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia3
30Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha2
31Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team2
32Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha2
33Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia2
34Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor2
35Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale2
36Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling1
37Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team1
38Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Barracuda1
39Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System1
40Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor1
41Christian Benenati (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia-5

Young rider classification
1Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda13:22:39
2Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:00:05
3Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:24
4John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i0:00:31
5Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha0:01:07
6Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:08
7Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i0:01:18
8Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:38
9Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:43
10Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan0:01:50
11Klaas Lodewijck (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:52
12Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:01:59
13Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale0:02:32
14Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:02:34
15Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha
16Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:02:36
17Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:02:50
18Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:02:58
19Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Barracuda0:03:54
20Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha0:05:33
21Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:06:22
22Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:21
23Alexandre Lemair (Fra) Bridgestone Anchor0:08:41
24Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:11:20
25Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha0:13:02
26Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank0:14:04
27Hayato Yoshida (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:21:18
28Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor0:23:51
29Chin-Lung Huang (Tpe) RTS Racing Team0:28:26

Teams classification
1Omega Pharma-Quick Step39:40:48
2Sky Procycling0:00:34
3Garmin - Barracuda0:01:23
4Project 1t4i0:02:10
5RadioShack-Nissan0:02:11
6GreenEdge Cycling Team0:02:33
7Lotto-Belisol Team0:02:37
8BMC Racing Team0:03:47
9Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:02
10FDJ-Bigmat0:04:55
11Katusha Team0:04:59
12Champion System0:06:38
13Liquigas-Cannondale0:08:36
14Farnese Vini-Selle Italia0:08:54
15Bridgestone Anchor0:16:59
16RTS Racing Team0:34:34

Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) sprinted to victory in the penultimate stage of the 2012 Tour of Qatar on Thursday, using his positional instincts and the help of his teammates to make a decisive dash for the line in a crowded bunch finish.

It was Cavendish’s second victory this week, having tasted victory in stage two on Tuesday, and it more than made up for the disappointment of yesterday when he trailed home in 31st place. Seven of the remaining nine top ten spots were taken by young riders, with Liquigas-Canondale duo Daniel Oss (ITA) and Peter Sagan (SVK) claiming the remaining podium spots.

Cavendish moves up to seventh in the GC with one stage to go but remains more than a minute adrift of Belgium’s Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who retained the golden jersey by a margin of 31 seconds from Garmin-Barracuda’s Taylor Farrar despite his worst finish (13th) of the week.

Stage five started just after noon at the Camel Race Track in the arid and dusty interior of the country, and the riders were greeted by dozens of camels as they made their last minute preparations. Aided by a tailwind, the riders scorched through more than 52kms in the first hour of racing. A breakaway group of five riders opened up a sizeable gap of 2:40 approaching the first intermediate sprint, which was won by Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) ahead of Thomas Bertolini (Farense Vini-Selle Italia) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas-Canondale).

The five riders were still clear at the second sprint, which came at the 124km mark and was won by RadioShack Nissan’s Robert Wagner. In the last ten kilometres the peloton closed together and the stage was set for a bunch sprint at the end of the 160km stage, which is the longest of the race. Boonen moved to the inside menacingly but found his momentum checked at a critical stage, and as all eyes were focussed on the race leader Cavendish swept clear 200 metres from the finish and held his arms aloft triumphantly in his trademark celebration.

“The last few kilometres were very hectic and everyone was nervous,” Cavendish said. “There was a bit of wind but not enough to break us up so there was a big peloton left at the finish and everybody fancied their chances. It was very chaotic and there were a few crashes and I hope that nobody is hurt from them.

“I’m really happy to have won. It’s my second stage win here this week and my team did a great job protecting me and keeping me up there for the final push. It’s a strong team that wants to do well, wants to win the sprints and the classics. It’s a team that can ride well in the wind and in the final, so it’s really good for us.”

After two wins and two second places in the four previous stages, Boonen was upstaged today but stayed close enough to consolidate his GC lead over Farrar, who was one place behind the Belgian in 14th place.

“I told the guys today that we could control the stage as a team,” Boonen said. “Over the last few days we have really been helped by Garmin and so we hadn’t expended too much energy so today I wanted to be really comfortable at the head of the peloton.

“Everybody was very fresh in the final so it made for a very hectic finish. This finish line has been good to me and it has been bad to me in the past. There are seven kinks and you have to be in the correct position. I was almost getting to the front nut got blocked on the left side. But the most important thing for today was to consolidate the golden jersey for tomorrow and preserve the good work we have done this week.”

The stage was marred by several crashes, the worst of which came just before the riders turned onto north road. It resulted in a broken collarbone for Filippo Pozzato (Farense Vini-Selle Italia) as several other riders including Thor Hushovd (BMC) ended up on the Tarmac.

The eleventh Tour of Qatar concludes tomorrow after the 120km sixth stage from the Sealine Beach Resort to the Doha Corniche. It appears that only a crash, and injury or a major mechanical failure can stop Boonen from securing a fourth win in the GC. But the young riders jersey is still very much up for grabs, with just five seconds separating current holder Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) and Adam Blythe (BMC).
 

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