Cavendish closes in on maiden title since ditching Team Sky

BRITAIN’S Mark Cavendish is poised to clinch his first title with new team Omega Pharma-QuickStep today after winning a third stage in a row on cycling’s Tour of Qatar.

Cavendish produced a trademark sprint finish to win yesterday’s fifth stage and extend his lead over American Brent Bookwalter to 15 seconds. The Isle of Man rider needs only to avoid a disastrous final stage today to claim the second overall win of his career and a first since leaving Team Sky after the 2012 season.

“We knew if we got through today it would be easy tomorrow,” said the 27-year-old, who won the Tour de France’s green jersey in 2011.

“The last two days of course we wanted the big commitment, but we really got out the unit today. We just rode incredible as a unit.”

Cavendish has now won four stages in three weeks with the team.