Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) sprinted to victory again on Sunday at the Clásica de Almería in Spain.
The 185.9km race through the southern Spanish region of Andalusia saw Etixx lead the peloton in pursuit of a two-man break, then keep the pressure on as the bunch split in two, leaving some 58 riders off the front.
In the finale, Cavendish beat Juan José Lobato (Movistar), while Cav’s leadout man Mark Renshaw rounded out the podium in third.
It was Cavendish’s fifth win this season, following his overall victory last week in the Dubai Tour. As for Lobato, his runner-up finish was a repeat of last year’s performance here.
“Yesterday I didn’t really feel good during the race at Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, but today the team was really motivated,” Cavendish said. “We started riding from kilometer zero. We were always in front, in the first 10 positions of the group the entire race.”
Cavendish said the team decided to break up the bunch in the crosswind after the last climb.
“With 30 kilometers to go Katusha and Movistar moved up to help us out, so the front group went full gas until the finish line. In the sprint Zdenek Stybar began the leadout into the final 450 meters. Then Mark Renshaw led me out, and I was in his slipstream until 150 meters to go.
“By the time I went it was just a matter of finishing off the race for the win. It was perfect.”