Cavendish Rockets to Tour de France Stage 18 Win

By James Fish, Epoch Times
July 23, 2010 Updated: August 26, 2011
Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line to win Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line to win Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Despite a stiff headwind and mass confusion on the run into Bourdeaux, Mark Cavendish showed that he can win a sprint stage without HTC’s leadout, easily beating his rivals to the line in Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France.

“It was up me to kind of freestyle for the last kilometer,” Cavendish told LeTour.fr. “I was jumping from wheel to wheel; I was back to my old style of sprinting and it worked out, so it’s okay.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to even start the stage. I’ve been sick the last four days with bronchitis—actually, there are a lot of guys in the peloton with the same thing so I’m not only one.”

A four-rider breakaway escaped at the 11-km mark, and stayed two minutes ahead until 13 km from the end. Liquigas rider Daniel Oss, riding in his first Tour, made an heroic attack, staying away until 3.6 km, when the sprinters’ teams started seriously organizing.

“It was so nice to see the guys working so incredibly hard,” Cavendish continued. “I was sitting in 10th wheel and the guys were pulling and pulling and pulling. The guys in the escape were strong and also very clever. It was hard to bring back [Daniel] Oss—he did a brilliant ride at the finish—and we had to use Michael [Rogers] and Tony [Martin] to pull him back.”

The peloton rides through the French countryside on Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France, from Salies-de-Bearn to Bordeaux. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
The peloton rides through the French countryside on Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France, from Salies-de-Bearn to Bordeaux. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Lampre and HTC fought for dominance at the head of the peloton, but it was the brand-new Sky team, led by Bradley Wiggins for Edvald Boasson Hagen, took control 2.5 km out. Cervelo moved up for Thor Hushovd, and HTC’s Tony Martin pushed forward, but no team could maintain a train.

Confusion ruled in the the final five hundred meters as Cervelo’s Brett Lancaster brought Thor Hushovd up the extreme right, with Mark Cavendish on his wheel, followed by Lampre’s Alessandro Petacchi and Garmin-transition’s Julian Dean.

Mark Cavendish sprints for the finish line of Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish sprints for the finish line of Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Alessandro Petacchi took off first, moving left around Cavendish. As Petacchi passed Lancaster, the Cervelo leadout rider, Hushoved lanched along the curb, while Cavendish broke to the left.

Alberto Contador poses with Cameron Diaz (L) and Tom Cruise (R) on the podium at the end of Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Alberto Contador poses with Cameron Diaz (L) and Tom Cruise (R) on the podium at the end of Stage 18 of the 2010 Tour de France. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Julian Dean followed and then passed Petacchi, who had perhaps started too early, but that didn’t matter. First to the line by several meters was the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish. Despite riding with bronchitis picked up in the Pyrenees, Cavendish was not just faster, but much faster, than his rivals.

Alessandro Petacchi took a ten–point lead in the Best Sprinter competition over Thor Hushovd. Cavendish is 13 points out. He might win the final sprint in Stage 20 on Sunday, but probably won’t close that gap; with Petacchi and Hushovd likely finishing Stage 20right beside him.

“I’ll never say never when it comes to the green jersey but I lost it in the first week, Cavendish said. “It hasn’t really been my aim.

“At the end of the day, I like to win bike races. I’ve always said, ‘If I win the green jersey by winning races, that’ll do.’ We’ll try and win again in Paris and see what happens.”

The General Classification was not affected by Stage 18's results; Alberto Contador maintains his eight-second lead over Andy Schleck going into tomorrow's Stage 19 time trial.

2010 Tour de France Stage 18

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Mark Cavendish

HTC-Columbia

4:37:09

2

Julian Dean

Garmin-Transitions

+ 00:08

3

Alessandro Petacchi

Lampre

+ 02:00

4

Robbie McEwen

Katusha

+ 02:13

5

Oscar Freire

Rabobank

+ 03:39

6

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky

+ 05:01

7

Jurgen Roelandts

Omega Pharma-Lotto

+ 05:25

8

Jose Joaquin Rojas

Caisse d’Epargne

+ 05:45

9

Grega Bole

Lampre

+ 07:12

10

Ruben Perez

Euskatel Euskadi

+ 07:51

 ,

General Classification after Stage 18

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Alberto Contador

Astana

83:32:39

2

Andy Schleck

Saxo Bank

+ 00:08

3

Samuel Sanchez

Euskatel-Euskadi

+ 03:32

4

Denis Menchov

Rabobank

+ 03:53

5

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Omega Pharma-Lotto

+ 05:27

6

Robert Gesink

Rabobank

+ 06:41

7

Joaquin Rodriguez

Katusha

+ 07:03

8

Ryder Hesjedal

Garmin

+ 09:18

9

Roman Kreuziger

Liquigas

+ 10:12

10

Christopher Horner

Radio Shack

+ 10:37

11

Luis-Leon Sanchez

Caisse d’Epargne

+ 12:46

12

Ruben Plaza Molina

Caisse d’Epargne

+ 13:01

13

Levi Leiphemer

Radio Shack

+ 14:24

14

Andréas Klöden

Radio Shack

+ 14:44

15

Nicolas Roche

AG2R la Mondiale

+ 16:00

16

Alexandre Vinokourov

Astana

+ 17:57

17

John Gadret

AG2R la Mondiale

+ 17:59

18

Thomas Lovvkist

Sky

+ 18:30

19

Kevin de Weert

Quick Step

+ 20:03

20

Daniel Moreno

Omega Pharma-Lotto

+ 25:23

 

 

 

 

 

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