Despite chaos that included a race neutralization due to a peloton crash in rainy conditions, OPQS maintained composure and placed themselves perfectly on the front with 5km to go. There was a battle for position on the descent following a final climb, and OPQS won the battle with five riders in front of the Manx Missile as they headed toward the sprint.
OPQS was so dominant in their leadout that they never lost the front position, and even had as many as four riders still in front of the British Champion with 1km to go. Mark Renshaw then led Cavendish to inside the 100m to go mark before launching him. Cavendish — wearing the points jersey — won by more than a bike length, with Renshaw placing 3rd behind Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida).
Cavendish has won three stages at Tour of Turkey, and this is the 28th victory, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2014.
“The guys were absolutely perfect again today,” Cavendish said. “They were perfect the entire day, not just in the leadout. It’s nice to have a team around me at this race where every guy is riding incredible. They never left my side. Even on the last climb it was like riding in a bubble. I was surrounded by OPQS protecting me and guiding me. We got to the front just before the bottom of the climb and we kept the control until the sprint. They were phenomenal. The leadout was just another example of the perfect job by the guys. Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw were super fast and they delivered me in the best position to launch the sprint. I would also like to congratulate the race commissaires and the organizers for the fact that they neutralized the race. It’s nice to see a race choose the safety of the riders as the top priority. We didn’t race for about 10 kilometers and then we started again. When they neutralized the race it was difficult to ride and handle the bike, it was like riding on marbles. So, the right decision was made without a doubt. Tomorrow is another stage for the sprinters. Even if the beginning is a bit difficult we will see what can happen with our team riding so strong.”