Cycling: Cavendish tunes up for spring Classics with finale success in Tour of Oman
Monday 21 February 2011
Mark Cavendish took the final stage of the Tour of Oman yesterday, the 25-year-old Briton showing with his victory in the 98-mile (157km) finale from Qurayat Harbour to Muttrah Corniche that his preparation for the European spring Classics has picked up again after crashes in the Tour Down Under and Tour of Qatar.
Overall victory went to the Dutch climber Robert Gesink of Rabobank, with Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen in second.
The 25-year-old Cavendish paid tribute to his HTC-Highroad team-mates after his first win of the season. "Everyone tries to go for the win in races like this so it's a bit hectic," he said. "But it was great, I had Hayden Roulston and Matt Goss looking after me in the finish, and they did a good job holding on to me – and I did a good job holding on to them all the way through.
"Goss went at the end, I left a gap then went for it myself. It was difficult with the wind, but it all worked perfectly."
Meanwhile, the Malaysian rider whose leg was pierced by a splinter from the track during the World Cup at Manchester velodrome had surgery yesterday. Azizulhasni Awang's calf (below) was skewered by a shard of Siberian pine during a sprint at the end of Saturday's keirin final, won by Sir Chris Hoy, but remarkably he remounted his bike and placed third, with Jason Niblett ahead of him in second after avoiding the crash.
Awang, though, stopped soon after the finish line, collapsing in agony before being taken away on a stretcher. After surgery yesterday he posted via his Twitter feed: "Operation done. Splinter taken out cleanly. Thanks for the prayer * support."
Great Britain's men's team pursuit squad, featuring the returning Bradley Wiggins, won gold yesterday. The British team – also featuring Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – beat New Zealand.
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