Sunday, July 5, 2009
Cavendish can do no wrong for number five
Untouchable. His head down, leadout complete and the line in sight, Mark Cavendish took his first stage of this year's Tour de France - his fifth in total - with a totally dominant performance from Columbia-HTC's sprinter in Brignoles.
The team's effort had started over 50km earlier, and with Bernhard Eisel, Bert Grabsch and Mark Renshaw pulling more than their weight at the front of the peloton to catch the leaders and set up their fast man, Cavendish simply had to turn on the afterburners and smoke the competition.
It was Garmin-Slipstream and Columbia-HTC fighting out the finale, although Tyler Farrar simply couldn't match Cavendish's speed. With 400m to go he was in third wheel, at 200m it was Renshaw's time to peel off, and the final couple of hundred metres belonged to the Manxman.
Cavendish acknowledged he's got great form and made the team aware of this. "When we put two guys in front it means we mean business... Today we meant business," he said after the finish.