• Tour of Qatar

Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar

ESPN staff
February 8, 2013
Mark Cavendish's life at Omega Pharma-QuickStep has started with an overall victory © Getty Images

Mark Cavendish has taken his first overall race victory for new team Omega Pharma Quick-Step by winning a fourth straight stage at the Tour of Qatar.

The Manxman took the leader's gold jersey on Wednesday and has not looked back since.

Thanks to time bonuses being awarded for stage wins, Cavendish held a 15-second advantage going into the 116km final stage.

His team steered him safely through the last stage but he had to launch a late assault to edge Ag2r's Yauheni Hutarovich on the line. His overall victory was only the second of his career in a stage race.

"I'm over the moon," Cavendish said. "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.

"I knew the wind was coming from the right, knew a gap was coming from the left. Same as when I won in 2009. The same tactics. The guys were going, and going, and going. Other teams started winding up with four laps to go. Still, it ended up the same way with one lap to go.

"The guys had been a bit used up for working for me all day and the entire race, so I knew I can kind of just go alone, can leave it late and come up the left side again. That's exactly what I did. I knew they would go right, and I could just use other leadouts to move up in the last 300 meters and jump on the left hand side."

Cavendish left Team Sky after the 2012 season as he felt his sprinting ambitions could not be met alongside the team's general classification hopes for riders Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

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