Britain's Mark Cavendish sealed a hat-trick of stage wins at the Tour of Turkey, completing victory in Stage 4 and avoiding a huge crash on the sprint.
The British Deceuninck-QuickStep rider finished ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin–Fenix) and Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and avoided a massive crash behind him in a chaotic finish to retain the overall lead.
Cavendish is top of the general classification by 12 seconds, but that is unlikely to last much longer with the next stage heading for the hills.
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The Manxman, only second in the list of all time Tour de France stage winners, came from behind to beat Philipsen who led heading into the closing stages.
But there was concern at the end following a crash which involved riders going through the barriers, and there were ambulances on the closing straight following the conclusion of the stage.
"It was a long old sprint for us, it was a drag strip, a headwind finish slightly uphill - it was more of a grind than a speed sprint, I guess," said Cavendish.
It's irrelevant how many of them are in a row, it's just nice to win again. It's nice for the team, Deceuninck-QuickStep, who believe in me.
Asked how close Cavendish is to his best, he admitted he has not "got a clue".
"It's hard to say about any form. We're not playing Cycling Manager, where you can see numbers and that, this is professional cycling," he said.

Tour of Turkey Stage 4 highlights - Cavendish completes memorable hat-trick

Commenting on the crash, Cavendish said he looked out for his team-mate Fabio Jakobsen, who has only just returned to the tour following a horror crash in August last year which required facial reconstructive surgery.
"They (the team) know the most special thing today is to see how far Fabio got," he said.
"I know that's not nice for him to see a crash in the final and you see him at the finish really shook up."

Jubilant Cavendish celebrates hat-trick at Tour of Turkey


1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:09:38
2 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3 Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal WB
4 Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Rally Cycling
5 Pierre Barbier (Fra) Delko
6 David Gonzalez Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7 Lars Kulbe (Ger) Team SKS Sauerland NRW
8 Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
9 Martins Pluto (Aut) Abloc CT
10 Damiano Cima (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
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20/05/2022 AT 15:11