Britain’s Mark Cavendish of the Dimension Data team took control of the Tour of Qatar on Thursday after overnight leader Edvald Boasson Hagen suffered a time-consuming double puncture late on in the penultimate stage four.
The 189 kilometre challenge to Madinat Al Shamal was animated by an 11-man break that was whittled down to four with under 50 kilometres to go.
The fast-moving peloton made sure the quartet didn’t make it all the way to the line.
With eight kilometres to go, Boasson Hagen suffered a puncture nightmare – after changing his front wheel the Norwegian then realised his back wheel was also flat forcing him to change bikes with a teammate.
Boasson Hagen eventually lost 45 seconds and his overall race lead to Cavendish, who finished fifth behind stage winner Alexander Kristoff of the Katusha team.
With one stage left Cavendish is two seconds clear of Belgian Greg Van Avermaet in the overall standings.