Tour of Qatar: Cav Wins Again, Eyes Overall


Another stage win and just 8 seconds from the lead, Cav is sitting pretty for OPQS.

It’s just another stage among many where Mark Cavendish showed his true abilities. Once criticized for not being able to win without a leadout, the Manx Missile has yet again won through a rolling wave of chaos. Left out of SKY’s plans much of the 2012 Tour, he was able to win with minimal support. Now, as OPQS reworks its train to suit him, Cavendish isn’t waiting for things to be perfect to start taking scalps.

With rival teams organized and his own squad gone, Cav lurked through the field before pouncing from nearly 350 meters to take the win. Echoing the habits of former train-hopper expert Robbie McEwan, Cavendish has proven himself capable of winning any sprint, regardless of the shape or dominance of the team leading him out.

What’s even more terrifying is that OPQS will have everything lined out eventually, and with the likes of Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Nikki Terpstra, and Tony Martin on deck, they may have one of the most powerful, long-range leadouts in the business.

Cav sits just 8 second behind BMC’s resident Michigander Brent Bookwalter, and with three sprint stages left, he should be able to take the win on time bonuses with top three finishes the rest of the way. While Cav is down playing his chances, OPQS knows any stage race win is a big one, and they’ll leave it all on the road to make sure these next three stages are decided in the final 1000 meters.

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