Cycling: Mark Cavendish claims first win for Team Sky
Tuesday 07 February 2012
Mark Cavendish claimed his first win for Team Sky as a trademark sprint finish earned him victory in stage three of the Tour of Qatar.
The Manxman, who switched to the British-run team after winning the Tour de France's green jersey and the world championships last year, beat race leader Tom Boonen into second on the 146.5-kilometre stage from Dukhan to Al Gharafa Stadium.
The victory was even more impressive given Cavendish had been a doubt to start the tour after falling ill on the flight to Doha.
Cavendish, having been led into position by team-mate Bernhard Eisel, edged out Belgian Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) by little more than a bike length, with Lithuania's Aidis Kruopis (GreenEDGE) in third.
He had been in the lead group of around 30 riders when crosswinds split the peloton into three with 30km to go.
The win moved the 26-year-old up to third in the overall standings, eight seconds behind Boonen and two adrift of American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda).
Cavendish told the Team Sky website: "I'm very happy with that. I'm still not 100%, but we wanted to ride well as a team and if it came down to a sprint then it came down to a sprint.
"It split up which we weren't really expecting but the wind picked up and I was looked after by the lads who got me to the front group.
"We didn't really have to ride once we were in the group. I had Bernie Eisel and (team-mate Juan Antonio ) Flecha there in the final with me to just keep me in position.
"I wanted to come off Boonen's wheel but then [Kruopis] from GreenEDGE came over on the right and boxed me in. I had to swing out and I wanted to wait for the headwind finish so left it late and came past Boonen.
"It's incredible to win [with the rainbow jersey]. I said I wanted to make the jersey proud.
"You never really get the season going until you get that first win under your belt. So now it's there I can hopefully get on a roll now and we can win some things."
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
Manuel Pellegrini future: Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Pellegrini is dismissed
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a critical role within the secur...
£20000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is an established, ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Exciting new position available at an independ...