Mark Cavendish sprinted to his first stage victory of the year in the final stage of the Tour of Oman earlier this week.
The Isle of Man sprinter beat Russian Denis Galimzyanov into second place in the final stage as Robert Gesink of the Netherlands was the victor of the overall tour. The rider for team HTC came close to his first stage win on 2011 at the start of the Oman race as he finished second, but he did not have to wait much longer for his win.
Cavendish, 25, suffered crashes in the two previous tours so far this year, in both the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar, however the Manx Missile’s latest win demonstrates he is now back to his best.
Cavendish has won 15 stages of the Tour de France over the past three years and finished second behind Alessandro Petacchi for the Green Jersey, for points classification, in the 2010 Tour de France. As well as prospering in the cycling’s highest profile tour, he has also won five stages at the Giro d’Italia and picked up the Green Jersey at the 2010 Vuelta a España.
Away from road racing Cavendish, who was hotly tipped to join Team Sky when they formed, has been victorious in the velodrome as well, winning gold at the 2005 and 2008 Cycling World Championships and the 2008 Commonwealth Games.
Cavendish’s next confirmed event will be the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico (the “Race of Two Seas”) in Italy, which takes places between 9 and 11 March.