Isle of Man racer Mark Cavendish bagged his third win in as many days on Thursday in winning the fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar to retain the overall lead.
The British rider, who is in his first season with Omega Pharma-Quick Step after a move from Team Sky, landed the penultimate stage -- 154km from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal -- in taking a sprint finish to edge out Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus and Lithuania's Aidis Kruopis.
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The 27-year-old Cavendish, who has picked up 23 stage wins on the Tour de France, a record for a sprinter and fourth all-time best, took his stages tally in Qatar to seven overall as he held on to the gold jersey he took Wednesday from American Brent Bookwalter.
The race concludes Friday at Doha.