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Manx Missile tops points classification after two near misses with today's Champs-Elysees win...

Mark Cavendish is this evening celebrating not only his third Champs-Elysées stage win in three years, but also becoming the first British rider to win the green jersey in the Tour de France after near misses in the previous two editions, saying, "I finally got it, but it didn't come easy."

Despite winning four stages of this year’s race before today, Cavendish had a lead of just 15 points going into today’s final stage over the Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas, after being docked 20 points for missing the time limit on Thursday’s stage to the Galibier.

Cavendish picked up an extra two points on the Spanish rider at today’s intermediate sprint, and with HTC-Highroad’s lead out train at the front of the race at it headed under the flamme rouge, the Manxman got a perfect leadout from Mark Renshaw, who had taken over from Matt Goss, to win.

By coincidence, both the men who finished second and third were former HTC-Highroad riders, Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, and Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Andre Greipel.

With Cavendish's team in control at the front of the race, Rojas didn't figure in the final sprint and came home in 21st place, out of the points.

Speaking of the jersey that Thor Hushovd had beaten him to in 2009 and which he had been pipped to by Alessandro Petacchi 12 months ago, Cavendish said: "I really had to fight for it all the way to the last finish line and I'm very tired, but it was worth all that effort."

As ever, the 26-year-old Manxman was quick to praise his HTC-Highroad colleagues, saying: "I had eight fantastic team-mates around me all the way, they kept working with me, I was close to getting it for the last two years and now it's finally here.

"I'm so happy, it's incredible,” continued Cavendish. “It's a great way to finish the Tour and a super, super emotional day."
 

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.

12 comments

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MalcolmBinns [116 posts] 6 years ago
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Not convinced that all the phones in front of him at the press conference are HTC. Some look like Nokias!

Top result for a decent bloke.

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Simon_MacMichael [2497 posts] 6 years ago
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Mostly voice recorders rather than phones - if my phone were that small, heaven knows how often I'd lose it  3

Agree it was a great result, and how nice to see youth league organiser Dot Tilbury from the Isle of Man and lots of aspiring Cavs featured on BBC Breakfast this morning!

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cavasta [216 posts] 6 years ago
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Weel done Cav. Richly deserved  41 Now for the future...

If Cav does leave HTC it may level the playing field a bit between him, Greipel, Farrar, et al, since they don't have a lead out train anywhere near as effective as Cav's (mind you, who does?).

As phenomenal as he is, and not wishing to detract from his achievements, it's arguable that Cav's current team/lead-out train is just as responsible for the stage wins as Cav himself. It would be interesting to see how Cav would fit into another team that already has an established leader and/or sprinter with a team built around supporting them.

Moreover, if he were to leave, would he insist on taking any of his current team with him? It would be hard to imagine him having the same level of success without them. At the very least he would need Renshaw. Or would Renshaw become the key sprinter in Cav's absence? He's certainly capable of it.

Not long now before we get answers to these and many more questions  45

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Alan Jett [14 posts] 6 years ago
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Well done Mark I think you werebrilliant and thank you for bringing the Green Jersey to the UK. Your lead out team deserve the highest praise as they were magnificent in leading you out to win. Well done Well done Three big cheers all round

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Matthewjb [78 posts] 6 years ago
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cavasta wrote:

Weel done Cav. Richly deserved  41 Now for the future...

... At the very least he would need Renshaw. Or would Renshaw become the key sprinter in Cav's absence? He's certainly capable of it.

When Renshaw was interviewed last week he said than him, Cav and Bernie Eisel were staying together wherever they end up.

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cavasta [216 posts] 6 years ago
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Matthewjb wrote:

When Renshaw was interviewed last week he said than him, Cav and Bernie Eisel were staying together wherever they end up.

It's almost inconceivable that they, or anyone else for that matter, would want to break up such a winning team. Not only do they perform well together, but they also get on really well with each other off the bikes. I suspect the latter factor goes some way towards explaining their success - they're more than just a team; they're mates.

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abudhabiChris [691 posts] 6 years ago
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Maybe I was imagining it but I thought Renshaw looked a little uninterested when Cav gave him a manly hug after winning on Sunday.

He was applauding when Cav crossed the line but in the video he is looking elsewhere when Cav bounces up and doesn't seem to be particularly excited.

Maybe he was just wondering where his girlfriend was but it looked odd to me.

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cavasta [216 posts] 6 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

Maybe I was imagining it but I thought Renshaw looked a little uninterested when Cav gave him a manly hug after winning on Sunday.

He was applauding when Cav crossed the line but in the video he is looking elsewhere when Cav bounces up and doesn't seem to be particularly excited.

Maybe he was just wondering where his girlfriend was but it looked odd to me.

Yeah, I noticed that too.  39 hmm...

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daviddb [134 posts] 6 years ago
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He looked like a man not in need of a sweaty hug.

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Simon_MacMichael [2497 posts] 6 years ago
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Hmmm, Australian sports star uncomfortable at hug from Pom who's followed him round for three weeks staring at his arse shocker  4

Seriously, I reckon there's way too much being read into Renshaw's body language here. THough that won't stop me having my own bash at it  3

His number one target for the year was to get Cavendish over that finish line in the green jersey. Which he did, after putting everything into supporting his team leader for the past three weeks.

If he's looking at all underwhelmed, it's probably a delayed reaction to that burden being lifted, I reckon.

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fuzzy [67 posts] 6 years ago
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Not only the lifting of the burden but, being Australian, he also had another result to feek good about, even though it was for BMC.

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fuzzy [67 posts] 6 years ago
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Not only the lifting of the burden but, being Australian, he also had another result to feek good about, even though it was for BMC.