Mark Cavendish enjoys green jersey glee but admits "it didn't come easy"

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

by Simon_MacMichael   July 24, 2011  

Mark Cavendish pre TDF press conference 2011.jpg

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."
 

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

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.

Bring me sunshine, and dry roads

MalcolmBinns's picture

posted by MalcolmBinns [107 posts]
25th July 2011 - 11:28

like this
Like (0)

Mostly voice recorders rather than phones - if my phone were that small, heaven knows how often I'd lose it Wink

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!

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7473 posts]
25th July 2011 - 11:37

like this
Like (0)

Weel done Cav. Richly deserved Applause 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 Waiting

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [189 posts]
25th July 2011 - 16:04

like this
Like (0)

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

Alan Jett's picture

posted by Alan Jett [19 posts]
25th July 2011 - 17:22

like this
Like (0)

cavasta wrote:
Weel done Cav. Richly deserved Applause 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.

posted by Matthewjb [52 posts]
25th July 2011 - 20:27

like this
Like (0)

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.

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [189 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:40

like this
Like (0)

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.

Is it about a bicycle ?

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [469 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:51

like this
Like (0)

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. Thinking hmm...

cavasta's picture

posted by cavasta [189 posts]
26th July 2011 - 11:44

like this
Like (0)

He looked like a man not in need of a sweaty hug.

cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [114 posts]
26th July 2011 - 20:43

like this
Like (1)

Hmmm, Australian sports star uncomfortable at hug from Pom who's followed him round for three weeks staring at his arse shocker Big Grin

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 Wink

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.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7473 posts]
26th July 2011 - 21:44

like this
Like (0)

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.

posted by fuzzy [67 posts]
27th July 2011 - 15:18

like this
Like (0)