Cycling: Mark Cavendish swaps rainbow for gold after repeat win
Thursday 13 September 2012
Mark Cavendish must have felt in a holiday mood yesterday after he claimed his second stage win in as many days in the shadow of the Blackpool Tower. Again set up superbly for the sprint finish by his Sky team-mates, the 2011 world road-race champion took the overall race lead from the Australian Leigh Howard of Orica-GreenEDGE and so will carry the Tour of Britain's gold jersey away from his visit to the Lancashire seaside resort.
After his victory in Dumfries the previous day, Cavendish had hinted that, rather than go for gold, he preferred to stay in the world champion's rainbow jersey, which will be up for grabs again later this month. In the event, the 97-mile fourth stage from Carlisle ended in an easy victory for him after a strong Team Sky lead-out by the Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Luke Rowe up the famous Promenade.
A six-man breakaway formed early on in the stage and at one point was some six minutes clear of the peloton. UK Youth Cycling's Niklas Gustavsson picked up the bonus points at the first intermediate sprint at Shap ahead of Mathew Cronshaw of Node 4 and An Post's Ronan McLaughlin.
With Rapha Condor's Kristian House, IG's Dan Craven and Saur Sojasun's David Lelay also taking part in the escape, the chasing pack closed to three minutes. The breakaway was then reduced to four as the course wound its way towards Blackpool, with Gustavsson and House dropped after the last King of the Mountains points dash, as ORICA-GreenEDGE and Sky led the chase.
Wiggins stepped up the pace at the front of the peloton with 15 miles to go as stiff crosswinds began to wreak havoc, with the increased speed causing the main pack to fracture.
Cavendish and Howard positioned themselves well and were part of the large chasing group, who slashed the gap to the leaders to 30sec with less than 10 miles left. Ireland's McLaughlin made a late bid to go it alone but he was hauled back by Craven before the Sky-led pack hunted them both down with six miles to go.
It set the stage perfectly for another sprint to the line for Cavendish.
Latest in Sport
Sheffield United vs Tottenham match report: Christian Eriksen breaks hearts after Che Adams had brought Blades back from the brink
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Tottenham player ratings: Christian Eriksen? Harry Kane? Who was the star man at Bramall Lane?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair meet at NBA game and exchange numbers, will the fight be announced during Super Bowl?
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£130 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher Jan 2015 - July...
£14500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Accounts Assistant is immedi...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - Central London, £60,000...