Cycling: Mark Cavendish all but certain of taking Tour of Qatar title

British rider wins third stage in a row to extend overall lead

Doha

Mark Cavendish came through the trickiest stage of the Tour of Qatar today with flying colors , capturing yet another victory - his third in three days and fourth of 2013 - and a landmark overall win all but certain tomorrow.

With frequent changes of direction on the exposed, flat 154 kilometre trek across north-west Qatar, the often-repeated stage from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal has often seen the peloton shatter in strong cross-winds in the past and the race leader put at risk.

But the winds stayed calm and instead Cavendish, strongly supported by team-mate Niki Terpstra, made a triumphant late charge for the line, with bonus seconds for the victory helping lift his overall lead margin from 2 seconds to a much solider advantage of 15.

“This stage is the always the most unpredictable one,” Cavendish said afterwards, “but I knew if we could get through this then we’re in with a very good chance of winning the race outright.”

“The guys [Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mates] rode perfectly, they led me into every corner perfectly and finally they gave me a leadout which was perfect, as though they’ve been doing it for years.”

In what is now his most successful opening to the season in seven years as a professional, and which reconfirms he is settling in well into his new Omega Pharma Quick Step team, Cavendish should - barring last-minute disaster - be crowned as the Tour of Qatar winner tomorrow at the end of a straightforward stage to Doha’s Corniche.

Just finishing in the main pack would be enough to secure him his second ever overall victory in a stage race, and Cavendish will not have forgotten he suffered a nasty crash on Qatar’s final stage last year when he was brought down by clumsily manoeuvring rivals just 125 metres from the finish.

Given his run of success so far, though, and impressive form, fighting for one last victory in Qatar  - and his fourth in a row - seems much more likely.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map