Cavendish, again!
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Cavendish, again!

by Nick Mulder at 8:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Columbia HTC) took out stage one in the Tour of Missouri, beating out Argentinean Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Norwegian Thor Hushovd (Cervelo). Cavendish, 24, outkicked Haedo and Hushovd on the run in to St. Louis winning a $15,000 Buell motorcycle in the process.

"I could see that white moto at the finish line and it was dangling like a carrot in front of me," said Cavendish after sprinting to his 22nd season victory. Whether he would split the prize he jokingly replied: “F*** 'em. No, I don't know. I'm sure there's a way. We all celebrate our successes together and that includes prizes. As a professional bike rider that's usually prize money and obviously with a prize like this we will figure out a way to do it fairly.”

The crash marred sprint took out general classification hopefuls including Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) and Tom Zirbel (Bissel Pro Cycling) while Hushovd lost his lead out man Heinrich Haussler. As if that wasn’t enough, Hushovd also broke his front wheel when he hit a manhole cover, "It was a 70 km/h sprint. It wasn't too dangerous except for the holes in the road," he said.

"I broke my wheel with one kilometre to go but I sprinted anyway. With that much speed and my weight it is dangerous, but what can you do. In a sprint you don't slow down because there are 20 other guys who want to knock you down."

American champion George Hincapie (Columbia HTC) also suffered from the bad road surfaces, hitting a pothole with 200 meters to go forcing Cavendish to grab Hushovd’s wheel.

“I got on Thor's wheel and it was just a case of coming off his wheel and coming around him as close to the line as I could to save energy. It was an uphill, headwind finish and I think that plays to my advantage, to get the jump” Cavendish explained.

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