Dec 5th, 13. Injured cyclist Eddie Dawkins will take his place in the team sprint combination ... read more
Dec 5th, 13. World Championship multi medallist Linda Villumsen headlines a strong woman’s field in this ... read more
Dec 5th, 13. Pro cycling team, Lotto Belisol is busy preparing the 2014 season. With ten riders ... read more
Third time's a charm for Mark Cavendish
Sep 12th, 12. After missing two opportunities, today World Champion Mark Cavendish got it right - he won the sprint finish of Stage 3 in the Tour of Britain.
It was a big team effort from Team Sky today to get Cavendish up for the win ahead of Orica GreenEDGE duo Leigh Howard and Aidis Kruopis.
In cold and pretty miserable conditions, Cavendish's teammates Bradley Wiggins and Jeremy Hunt worked tirelessly to bring the remaining breakaway riders back inside the final 2km of the 152.6km stage in Scotland.
Then Christian Knees and Bernhard Eisel produced storming turns on the front before peeling off and allowing Luke Rowe to slingshot the Manxman to a comfortable victory. Rowe held on to place 4th.
"On the first day, what can you do [when you crash] then yesterday we tried something different....but today we were told to follow the script - to keep things simple today and go for the sprint," said Cavendish.
"We've got the team here who can do a brilliant lead out and it was pretty straightforward in the end," he said.
"We didn't have to control today, because we didn't have the jersey, and that worked in our favour because it meant we could use everybody up at the end.
"We always had those breakaway riders in our sights. Christian, Brad and Jez all did massive pulls and were able to line it out and bring everything back together at just the right time. It was great for me to be able to sit on the wheel while they were doing all the work.
With teams of just six riders in this UCI2.1 tour, each rider had to pull for much longer than they do in most other races.
"Bernie did almost a 1km turn and then Luke went with just under 1km to go – which is far longer than the usual 400m for a lead-out man – and he rode it perfectly into the last corner," explained Cavendish.
"I knew the finish, that it would have a tailwind going downhill, so that meant I could go early, and I'm really happy to get the win."
Although Cavendish is now on the same GC time, Orica GreenEdge's Leigh Howard is the tour's new overall leader.
"I've been working really hard all year, and working hard for another team mate so it's nice to have the leader's role here and try and fulfil it as best I can. So far, all is going well," said the Australian.
"The crowds are unbelievable, the first day I have never seen crowds like it. And even the next two stages, through the week and with the rain, there are people all along the roads so it's nice to see."
Last win in the rainbow stripes?
As for whether today's victory could be his last in the rainbow stripes, the Manxman said, "I thought about coming here for the overall (win), to try and wear the gold jersey but I kind of want to wear this [jersey] for as many days as possible before next week.
"It's actually dawning on me now that it's actually been a year, and I am trying to savour the moment.
"I wanted to get a win here and get a final win in the rainbow jersey and I am glad I could do that."
Kiwis still hurting
Kiwi Node4 Giordana Kiwis Mike Northey and Rico Rogers are still feeling the effects of their Stage 1 crashes. Both finished in the front bunch today, with Rogers in 17th place.
"I talked to Rico after the stage," former NZ representative rider Marina Northey told RoadCycling.co.nz. "He's very frustrated because he's struggling to get out of the saddle. So even though he was in the bunch feeling good, his body is still not recovered."
The Kiwi's team is still enjoying success even with their fastest men far from their best - Peter Williams was in the break for the second day in a row and extended his lead in the Sprint's Classification.
With five days to go there is plenty of time for Northey and Rogers to shake off their injuries and contest the front of the race.
Tweet Follow @roadcycling
Support RoadCycling.co.nz Advertisers