Manxman takes overall victory after fourth straight stage win.
Mark Cavendish has secured his first overall victory for new team Omega Pharma-QuickStep after a fourth successive stage win saw him triumph in the Tour of Qatar.
Despite suffering a crash just 15km into the final 116km stage, Cavendish was able to recover and led home Yauheni Hutarovich and Barry Markus over the line to extend his overnight advantage and take overall victory.
It was only the second overall victory of the 27-year-old’s career with his other win coming last year in the Ster ZLM Toer in the Netherlands when with Team Sky, who he left at the end of 2012 to join Belgium-based Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
It was Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s fifth win in the race having also won it through Tim Boonen in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Boonen was unable to take part this year because of injury, leaving Cavendish to lead the team.
“We come here every year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen, but he’s recovering from an injury,” Cavendish told the BBC. “It put a little bit of pressure on me and I was a bit nervous.
“But I’m really happy to get the win. The guys worked incredibly here, they really looked after me so, so well here and delivered every single day.”
Cavendish and American Brent Bookwalter, who finished runner-up in the overall standings, had crashed early on the final stage but their fellow riders slowed the peloton down to allow the pair to get back into the race.