Isle of Man racer Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick-Step sealed overall victory on the Tour of Qatar on Friday after winning the sixth and final stage on the Doha Corniche.
The 2011 world champion won the 116.5km ride from Sealine Beach to Doha in a sprint finish ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus and Barry Markus of the Netherlands.
It was Cavendish’s eighth stage win in total on the Tour of Qatar and his fourth in as many days, and it came about despite him suffering a fall 15km into the stage.
He finished top of the overall standings ahead of two American riders from the BMC Racing Team in the shape of Brent Bookwalter and Taylor Phinney, who emerged with the jersey for the best young rider.
“I’m over the moon,” said Cavendish, who also won the race points jersey and praised his teammates for helping him in his push to victory.
“We come here every year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen, but he’s recovering from an injury. So it put a little bit of pressure on me and I was a bit nervous, but I’m really happy to get the win,” he said. “The guys worked incredible here. They really looked after me so, so well here and delivered every single day. I am so happy and proud I can bring it home again for the team again.”
No rider had ever won four consecutive stages on the Tour of Qatar, although Belgian Boonen, a four-time winner, won four stages in 2007, if not all in succession.
Boonen was unable to defend his title this year due to an elbow injury.