Manx Missile celebrates by giving the V-sign - and not for Victory

Mark Cavendish has notched up his second win of 2010 in Stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie, and the Manx Missile, never one to shy away from controversy, set tongues wagging with a two-fingered victory salute as he crossed the line.

It seems that the V-sign was aimed at critics who have taken the HTC-Columbia rider to task for his uncharacteristically lacklustre start to the 2010 season, which has been disrupted by the ongoing effects of an infection following dental treatment.

After winning the 171.8-kilometre stage, Cavendish said that today’s victory demonstrated a return to form and it proved his doubters – who could also be interpreted as including team-mate André Greipel, with whom Cavendish recently had a rather public falling-out – wrong.

And there was us thinking that the 24-year-old, who famously celebrated winning a stage of last year’s Tour de France by mimicking making a phone call in a reference to recently-recruited sponsor HTC, made the V-sign to congratulate HTC on today’s news that their Droid handset is now available on US mobile network Verizon.

With five kilometres left in today’s stage, the peloton had come back together following earlier breakaways, and with HTC-Columbia forcing the pace at the front, the scene was set for Cavendish to do what he does best as he looks to recapture last year’s stunning form that brought him six stage wins in the Tour de France plus victory in Milan-San Remo.

As it turned out, the Manxman won easily from Danilo Hondo of Lampre-Farnese Vini, with Robbie Hunter of Garmin-Transitions third. Peter Sagan of Liquigas retains the race leader’s jersey.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.