Cycling: Mark Cavendish wins Tour de France second stage
Monday 02 July 2012
Mark Cavendish won his 21st Tour de France stage this afternoon, having perfectly negotiated a chaotic run-in to the finish.
The 207.5kilometre flat stage marked a return to comfortable territory for the world champion following five categorised climbs and a grueling uphill finish yesterday.
Cavendish's win today was all the more impressive since he wasn't afforded the luxury of a lead out by his team, as he was so reliably given last year when he took five stage wins in total.
The Briton went head-to-head with former team mates André Greipel and Matt Goss as he did when he tested his legs in yesterday's intermediate sprint. But where Australian Goss came out on top then, it was Cavendish that affirmed himself as the man to beat today.
Any questions as to the sprinting caliber of a leaner, less powerful Cavendish this year were cast aside as he came apparently out of nowhere to take victory.
Greipel looked strongest coming into the final kilometres, his team Lotto Belisol commanding the lead. The German was positioned perfectly, Cavendish 20 or so places back. But the plucky Brit worked his way from wheel to wheel, until there was no one left to pass.
Today's win affirms Cavendish as a true tactician. As the bunch jostled for position, he kept a cool head, picking a route through the tumultuous field. For a man that went into the Tour with a basic goal of just "a stage win," this marks the most impressive of starts.
There were no notable changes in the overall standings, with Fabian Cancellara keeping hold of the yellow leader's jersey.
Latest in Sport
Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: The reasons why Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben will not be joining Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Manchester United transfer news: No 9 shirt left vacant - a hint that new striker will be arriving?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...