Cycling: Sheffield’s Adam in the mix to fight Cav for desert crown

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SHEFFIELD’S Adam Blythe is still well-placed heading into today’s final stage of the Tour of Qatar, writes Richard Fidler.

Riding for American team BMC Racing, Blythe has been in excellent form throughout the tour and was once again in amongst the leaders on yesterday’s penultimate stage.

He finished in fourth place on the 154 kilometre ride from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal to remain in fourth overall.

Britain’s former world champion Mark Cavendish made it three stage wins in a row to open up a 15 second lead over second placed American Brent Bookwalter.

Rotherham’s Russell Downing showed characteristic spirit to finish the day just 21 seconds behind a day after a crash which left his back looking like a “patchwork quilt” according to his Twitter account. Downing, who rides for NetApp Endura, this season has twice hit the tarmac in Qatar.

Today’s sixth and final stage is a 116km dash from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche.

In Majorca Rotherham’s Ben Swift was discharged from hospital after being knocked unconscious during a crash on Wednesday.

Team Sky’s Swift was tackling a tricky descent in the Trofeo Alcudia when he fell.

He was taken immediately to hospital for observation but was released yesterday after feeling no ill effects.

He posted on his Twitter feed: “Hey guys thanks for all the well wishes. Back at hotel now. Was out cold for a while so had to go in for check ups. But all is good.”

Swift’s next race is scheduled to be the one-day Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium on February 23 with Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne a day later and Le Samyn on February 27.

Swift’s colleague Bradley Wiggins has been confirmed in the Team Sky squad for next week’s Tour of Oman.

Wiggins, the Tour de France champion and London 2012 time trial gold medallist, will compete alongside teammate Chris Froome and Grand Tour contenders Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador.

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