Mark Renshaw again showed HTC-Highroad’s depth of sprinting talent by winning the 2011 Tour of Qatar in addition to yesterday’s stage win.

Renshaw, more usually seen leading out British team-mate Mark Cavendish, kept close rival Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) out of the picture in the final day’s sprint finish to take the gold jersey. Renshaw’s win comes on the back of team-mate Matt Goss’s stage success at the Tour Down Under in January.

Britain’s Roger Hammond (Garmin-Cervelo) finished in fifth place and Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky) in sixth overall, setting themselves up for a strong Spring Classics campaign.  

Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri) took a surprise win in the strung-out finale in Doha, out-sprinting Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step) on the opposite side of the road. Guardini won five stages of the Tour de Langkawi earlier this year, but his win in Qatar will now have brought the 21-year-old Italian to the attention of some of the world’s best sprinters.

Team Sky Brit Russell Downing finished in eighth place on the stage.

Earlier, Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post-Sean Kelly) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) had launched a spirited escape and kept the bunch at bay until the final six kilometres when the pace was wound up by the sprinters’ teams.

Although Haussler narrowly missed out on taking the general classificaition, he came away with the sprint classification for the second year running as consolation. His Garmin-Cervelo squad also netted the team prize. QuickStep’s Nikolas Maes scooped best young rider.

Results

Tour of Qatar 2011, stage five: Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche, 126.5km

1. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Neri in 2-44-06


2. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step

3. Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank

4. Dominique Rollin (Can) Francaise des Jeux

5. Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil-Shimano

6. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha

7. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana

8. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky

9. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Garmin-Cervelo

10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen all same time

Final overall classification

1. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad in 15-31-04

2. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo at 8secs

3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek at 17secs

4. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Team Sky at 26secs

5. Roger Hammond (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 38secs

6. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Team Sky at 39secs

7. Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo at 42secs

8. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad at 1-05

9. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing at 1-33

10. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step at 1-35

Points classification

Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo

Best young rider

Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep

Team

Garmin-Cervelo

Andrea Guardini wins stage, Tour of Qatar 2011, stage five



Andrea Guardini takes the final stage win

Mark Renshaw wins 2011 Tour of Qatar overall, Haussler second, Bennati third

Final podium (l-r): Heinrich Haussler, second; Mark Renshaw, winner; Daniele Bennati, third

Tour of Qatar 2011: Related links



Tour of Qatar 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour of Qatar 2011: Latest news

Haussler’s battle for Tour of Qatar victory not finished

Haussler delighted by first win in seven months

Hunt and Hammond move up in Qatar

ASO enforces race radio ban in Qatar

Cavendish has second bad fall of season in Tour of Qatar

Dowsett aiming for Tour of Qatar prologue

Tour of Qatar 2011: Stage reports



Stage four: Renshaw takes stage and lead



Stage three: Haussler takes control



Stage two: Haussler wins stage two



Stage one: Boonen wins opening road stage and takes lead



Prologue: Boom wins Tour of Qatar opener




Tour of Qatar 2011: Photo galleries

By Graham Watson

Stage four gallery

Stage three gallery

Stage two gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery