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Cav five seconds off in Qatar

Mark Cavendish and Team Columbia-Highroad finished five seconds off the pace in the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar yesterday.

The team time trial was won by his fellow Team GB rider Bradley Wiggins and the Garmin-Slipstream outfit, who he joined from Colombia in the off-season.

Wiggins will now take the leader's Gold Jersey into today's stage by virtue of being first man across the finish line in Doha.

The time trial, on a 6km course in the city, was contested on flat roads and in searing heat, setting the tone for much of the remaining five stages.

Cav's main rival for the sprints Tom Boonen is just one second off Wiggins after his Quick Step Team came home second.

Boonen has a formidable record in Qatar, having won the race twice and taken fourteen stages on the four occasions he has competed there.

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