Mark Cavendish loses green jersey and fined at Tour of Oman ahead of stage six

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl penalised by race jury for being pushed back to peloton by car

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish during stage six
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish was stripped of the points jersey after being docked points and fined by the race jury following stage five of the Tour of Oman.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sprinter was penalised for the way he returned to the peloton following a crash that left him hurt "quite badly".

The race jury docked him nine points in the points classification, which left Jan Hirt of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert as the sole leader in the competition, and fined him 300 Swiss Francs. The reason given was "rétropoussée » sur voiture", or being pushed back by a car.

A source close to Quick-Step suggested that he was holding onto the race doctor's car while being treated, but returned quite quickly to the bunch, and this is the situation which was frowned upon by the commissaires. 

The movement in the points standings means Cavendish is now fifth on the points classification ahead of today's sixth and final stage, which is lining up to end with a bunch sprint. He was second on the first stage and won the second one to previously move into the lead in the competition.

On 23 points, he is now trailed by his sprinting rivals Fernando Gaviria of UAE-Team Emirates and Kaden Groves of BikeExchange-Jayco by one and two points respectively, which means the final sprint will decide the final standings.

The first intermediate sprint of stage six did nothing to alter the points standings, as the points were taken by the breakaway up the road.

Cavendish crashed heavily with 62km to go on Monday as the race was briefly split apart by echelons. He came down with Groupama-FDJ's Ignatas Konovalovas, but both managed to finish the day. Photos from the finish line show road rash on the left hand side of Cavendish, as his kit was ripped in the fall.

"As is normal with the chaos of echelons forming I had a touch of wheels and unfortunately I came down quite heavily," he said post-stage. "I am lucky that my injuries seem to not be too bad and I was able to get on my bike, with just some bruising and external abrasions.

"I hope that the other riders involved are also ok and I would also like to thank the race doctor for looking after me."

Hirt leads the points standings as well as the general classification, after he triumphed atop Green Mountain on Monday.

It was a bad day for Quick-Step in other ways, as Fausto Masnada went into stage five with the race lead, but could not keep up with the fastest climbers in the final.

The Italian had won stage four to move into the leader's jersey. The Belgian team fought hard to keep the Italian in the red leader's jersey, but he was undone by the day's final climb, as Intermarché stamped their authority on the race. 

The final climb saw the riders climb for 5.7 km at 10.5%, and Masnada lost 1:48 behind Hirt, which saw the race lead change hands.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.