Aussie fast-man Mark Renshaw rode the perfect leadout to guide teammate Mark Cavendish to his second stage win in the Abu Dhabi Tour overnight.
Racing a thrilling criterium style course at night under lights, the peloton lined up for 26 laps of the flat 5.5km circuit.
Effortlessly out front on the final lap, Renshaw led through the last right-hander and when the road opened for Cavendish, there was no stopping the Manx Missile from winning on the home straight.
“I got an incredible lead out. Mark Renshaw was very calm going into the finale. I just had to jump,” said Cavendish.
“Giant nearly got the jump on us so I thought it would do me a favour if one of them gets in between myself and Mark, so I let him in but he couldn’t hold Mark’s wheel in the sprint. I was still able to use his slingshot and then Mark’s slingshot in front to accelerate in the last 200 meters. I am really happy to have won the stage again. It’s another win and good exposure for our sponsors and Qhubeka, so it was really nice to be able to do that.”
Team Astana rider Tanel Kangert won overall victory of the four-stage race with a 21-second lead over Nicolas Roche in overall classification.
“I must say it was more difficult that it might look like because the corners were really tight. I was surprised they were so tight for car racing. It made the race special with the lights and the dark,” Kangert said last night.
“In the end I was pretty tired just keeping the wheels. I was excited to race in the leader’s jersey. It was my first time leading a professional race.”