Cavendish opens up his account, no changes on GC
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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cavendish opens up his account, no changes on GC

by Steve Jones at 11:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Race Reports and Results
 
Columbia-HTC's Mark Cavendish has taken his fifth stage victory in the Tour de France today with no challenge from second placed Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) who was several bike lengths back followed by a charging Romain Feillu of Agritubel who closed a large gap to round out the podium.

Before the start Cavendish said, "To win a stage and make it to Paris would be a successful Tour de France for me."

He's got the first half of his goal accomplished, and despite a crash in the final corner taking several key sprinters out of contention, his leadout team and finishing kick made the win look easy - almost too easy not to expect more from the 24-year-old who will be wearing the green jersey on tomorrow's stage.


"It was brilliant, I was in good form. The team did so well, we showed we meant business," he said after his win.

How the race unfolded

Four riders made the break of the day including Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Stef Clement (Rabobank), Cyril Dessel (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jussi Veikkanen (Française des Jeux). Along the way Veikkanen managed to collect enough points for the King of the Mountains competition to wrestle the jersey away from race favorite Alberto Contador, giving him the honor of first Finish rider to wear polka dots in the Tour.

Saxo Bank kept the gap to the leaders at a reasonable distance defending Fabian Cancellara's yellow jersey, but in the closing kilometers Team Columbia-HTC sent their workers to the front to finish finish the job off for their sprinter Mark Cavendish. With the breakaway in sight and just over 10 kilometers to go, Katusha's former junior world time-trial champion Mikhail Ignatiev jumped clear for his chance at the win, but with 5km to go Team Milram and Team Columbia-HTC swept up the 24-year-old Russian.

Into the finale the peloton was nervous with Milram, Garmin-Slipstream, Quick-Step and Skil Shimano all trying their hand at overpowering the Columbia-HTC train. In the final kilometer it was the American team on top piloting their sprinter to his first victory in this year's Tour de France. The crash effected the majority of the green jersey contenders, so tomorrow's 196.5 kilometer race from Marseille to La Grande-Motte with only two Category 4 climbs might show what Hushovd and the others would have done today with a clear view to the line.

Stage Results:

1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Columbia-HTC
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream
3. Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
4. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam
5. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
6. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Milram
7. William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
8. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
9. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano
10. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

Overall:

1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/SAX) 19:32.(moyenne: 47,6 km/h)
2. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) at 0:19.
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/GRM) 0:20.
4. Andreas Klöden (GER/AST) 0:22.
5. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) 0:23.
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA/AST) 0:31.
7. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/LIQ) 0:33.
8. Tony Martin (GER/THR) 0:33.
9. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 0:38.
10. Lance Armstrong (USA/AST) 0:40.
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