Cavendish Back on Top in 2010 Tour de France Stage Five

By James Fish, Epoch Times
July 8, 2010 Updated: August 26, 2011
Mark Cavendish (C) celebrates on the finish line after winning Stage Five of the 2010 Tour de France. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish (C) celebrates on the finish line after winning Stage Five of the 2010 Tour de France. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Sprinters, beware. The fastest man in the world has rejoined the Tour, and he will be hungry for stage wins.

After a very disappointing first several stages, HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish has found his form, blazing away from the field in the final meters of Stage Five of the 2010 Tour de France.

Cavendish, delivered expertly to the front by Mark Renshaw, proved to all his critics that he has not lost his edge, has not slowed down. In fact, Mark Cavendish is as fast as ever, and now that he has won a stage … sprinters, look out. The missile has launched.

“It means everything, you know,” Cavendish told LeTour.fr. “Obviously it’s hard this year .We set everything around the Tour de France. We came to the Tour and things really haven’t gone our way the first few days, but that was bad luck.

A teary-eyed Mark Cavendish stands on the winner's podium. 'All that emotion and all that pressure had built up all year, it's finally come to an end,' he explained. (Spencer Platt/Getty Image)
A teary-eyed Mark Cavendish stands on the winner's podium. 'All that emotion and all that pressure had built up all year, it's finally come to an end,' he explained. (Spencer Platt/Getty Image)
“Yesterday the team did amazingly, and I let them down massively at the end. It would have been easy for them to say what a lot of other people say—that ‘He hasn’t got it;” but they knew I did, and we rode incredibly.

“It’s an incredible feeling you know? All that emotion and all that pressure had built up all year, it’s finally come to an end. For sure we are going to try for more stages, but thank God it paid off then.”

A lot of the credit has to go to his final leadout man, Mark Renshaw, who forced his way to the front at the perfect time. HTC’s vaunted train fell apart, but Renshaw saved the day by pushing past Thor Hushovd to bring Cav to the front.

“Mark Renshaw did an incredible job” Cavendish said. “He was fighting with Thor [Hushovd], he was fighting with Tyler [Farrar], he was fighting with Oscar [Freire]; I just sat there I knew he’d deliver me to the right place, and he did. [Then] It was just, Go for the line, you know?”

Tricky Ending

The final two kilometers were tricky; first a slight downhill, followed by a sharp bend, with the final 500 meters slightly uphill. Whichever team led around the corner should have won the race.

Garmin-Transitions took over the peloton at two kilometers out, with three riders—David Millar, Robbie Hunter, and Julian Dean—leading Tyler Farrar, who nobody thought could sprint today.

Behind the Garmin train, HTC fought with Thor Hushovd for Farrar’s wheel—fought physically, banging shoulders and shoving one another.

Robbie Hunter led the Garmin train into the final kilometer, with Hushovd fourth wheel, still slamming and banging with Renshaw.

Mark Cavendish (L) sprints on the finish line ahead of Gerald Ciolek (2L) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (R) of Stage Five of the 2010 Tour de France. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish (L) sprints on the finish line ahead of Gerald Ciolek (2L) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (R) of Stage Five of the 2010 Tour de France. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)
When Hunter peeled off at 500m to let Julian Dean do the final leadout for Farrar, Renshaw gave Hushovd a final mighty whack, and took off to the right, running up even with Dean. Two hundred meters out, Cavendish launched, and just as it used to be, so it was again. The Manx Missile flew faster than anyone else, earning an 11th Tour de France stage victory.

Tyler Farrar went the wrong way around Julian Dean, adding a few meters to his path, but that wasn’t what left him 10th at the line. Farrar, riding with a broken wrist and a heavily bandaged elbow, is not yet in top form. Still, it was a brave try, which gives hope to the Garmin squad that he will be bringing them some stage wins before long.

Gerald Ciolek took second in the sprint because he wisely latched on to Cav’s wheel and stayed in his slipstream. Edvald Boasson Hagen of Sky finished third in another last-second explosion, just as he did in Stage Four.

Thor Hushovd, outmuscled rather than out-sprinted, crossed the line in fifth, retaining the green jersey as best sprinter of the Tour.

The Genreal Classification was mnot affected by Stage Five's results.

After the race, Tyler Farrar spoke with Versus-TV. “I wasn’t that great today at the end of the sprint. I made some mistakes, came on the wrong side of Julian—my own fault. At least I can try again. The guys did a great job—I didn’t have enough to seal the deal.

Farrar said his wrist is still healing. “Once the adrenaline of the finish comes, you don’t feel it so much. Still not 100 percent. We’re still taking it day by day.”

Katusha’s Robbie McEwen finished seventh. On Twitter, he reported, “Suffered really badly today. Injuries worse instead of better & seem to have lost enough blood from elbow wound to affect my form too.”

Stage Six: Another Sprint

Stage Six, 227.5 km from Montargis to Gueugnonshould see another sprint finish, though it does contain four cat4 climbs. The last on 23 km from the end, which should give the sprinters plenty of time to recover before the end.

The final five km slope gently downward, after a small rise at 2.5 km, which will be a welcome break for the sprinters after the last two uphill finishes.

A successful breakaway is possible, but not likely. With Mark Cavendish confidant and eager, HTC-Columbia won’t let anything get away, and Garmin-Transitions will really want a stage win after coming so close today. Stage Six is the last pure sprinter’s stage until Stage 18, (though some sprinters, of the Oscar Freire/Thor Hushovd variety, might not mind the climb up the cat 3 Col de Cabre in Stage 11) and it is not certain many sprinters will be able to last that long.

Still, it is possible the peloton could misjudge the final 30 km; it’s along descent, and if a break can climb really well, possibly the peloton could run out of time to catch it.

Stage 5 2010 Tour de France

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Mark Cavendish

HTC-Columbia 

4h 30' 50" 

2

Gerald Ciolek

Milram

+ 00' 00"

3

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky

+ 00' 00"

4

Jose Joaquin Rojas

Caisse d’Epargne

+ 00' 00"

5

Thor Hushovd

Cervelo

+ 00' 00"

6

Sébastien Turgot

Bbox Bouygues Telecom

+ 00' 00"

7

Robbie McEwen

Katusha

+ 00' 00"

8

Alessandro Petacchi

Lampre

+ 00' 00"

9

Lloyd Mondory

AG2R La Mondiale

+ 00' 00"

10

Tyler Farrar

Garmin-Transitions

+ 00' 00"

 

General Classification after Stage 5

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Fabian Cancellara

Saxo Bank

22h 59' 45"

2

Geraint Thomas

Sky

0:00:23 

3

Cadel Evans

BMC

0:00:39 

4

Ryder Hesjedal

Garmin-Transitions

0:00:46 

5

Sylvain Chavanel

Quick Step

0:01:01 

6

Andy Schleck

Team Saxo Bank

0:01:09 

7

Thor Hushovd

Cervelo Test Team

0:01:19 

8

Alexander Vinokourov

Astana

0:01:31 

9

Alberto Contador

Astana

0:01:40 

10

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Omega Pharma-Lotto

0:01:42

 

 

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