Briton Mark Cavendish took an emotionally inspired victory one day after fellow cyclist Frederiek Nolf died in his sleep at the Tour of Qatar the night of February 4. The Columbia-Highroad rider won the final stage, 121 kilometres to Doha, in a sprint finish over Robert Förster (Milram) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo Test Team).
“I dedicate my win to Frederiek and to his family,” said Cavendish.
The race ended on a nine-kilometre circuit along the Doha Bay, which the riders completed seven times. Cavendish’s teammates Marcel Sieberg and then Gregory Henderson guided the sprint. They led through the final corner of the hot dog circuit at 1,400 metres. Cavendish lost contact of Henderson’s wheel, but he still succeeded with win number two of the Tour of Qatar.
“When the teams tried to jump us in the last corner, everyone kept their cool and kept it together. You can’t be more happy than getting delivered to 300 or 250 metres,” said Cavendish.
Tom Boonen of Team QuickStep finished 10th in the sprint and retained his overall leader’s jersey. The Belgian won the race for a career-third time. He dedicated his overall win today to compatriot Nolf.
Cervélo Test Team finished second and third with Heinrich Haussler and Roger Hammond.
For complete results and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.