Tour de France: Cavendish aiming for final flourish in Paris despite fall

Mark Cavendish has no intention of letting his injury from Monday's epic mountain stage wreck his plans for going all the way to Paris and becoming Britain's first winner on the Tour's legendary Champs-Elysées stage.

"I've got no plans to stop," said Cavendish, who has already snapped up two stage victories in the Tour's first week, during the race's first rest day here in Pau yesterday. "I'm not overly optimistic about making it, but I'll take each day as it comes, and see how far I can get."

Winning on the Champs Elysées, the 23-year-old says, would be the perfect way to round off his second Tour: "That's the dream for any sprinter, to win there."

A crash in the first hour of Monday's stage could well have put paid to the Manxman's chances of completing the day's racing, let alone finishing the Tour.

"There was a football in the road, my bike slipped and I went down," said Cavendish, who gashed his right elbow in the accident. "It was just a cut, but it's quite deep. The race doctor gave me a painkiller that didn't agree with me and I felt blocked, I had no power."

Battered but undeterred, Cavendish rode over 50 miles and two major Pyrenean cols with only his team-mate Bernhard Eisel, for company. The two Columbia riders were so exhausted they could not even stay with the main group of non-climbers.

Cavendish finally finished last on the stage, 35 minutes down on the winner Leonardo Piepoli and seven minutes short of the time limit. When the Manxman reached the line, the new race leader Cadel Evans of Australia had finished his press conferences and was heading for his hotel.

"The first thing I did when I finished was hug Bernie [Eisel]. I was so proud of him." Cavendish said. "Without him my Tour would have been over."

Cavendish argues that there are another five possibilities of bunch sprints in the race's remaining two weeks. After two dominating victories, he is inevitably one of the favourites. "But they're only possibilities," he warned. "I came here for one stage win and I've already got two. Everything from now on is a bonus."

All teams are to leave the elite ProTour series run by the sport's governing body International Cycling Union (UCI), the teams on the Tour de France said yesterday. "It has been decided unanimously not to renew the ProTour licences for the 2009 season," the teams said in a joint statement.

The ProTour, which started in 2005, guaranteed the top teams a place in the leading races.

Tour de France standings

Overall classification: 1 C Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 42hr 29min 09sec; 2 F Schleck (Lux) Team CSC +1sec; 3 C Vande Velde (US) Garmin-Chipotle +38; 4 B Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner +46; 5 D Menchov (Rus) Rabobank +57. GB: 48 D Millar (Garmin-Chipotle) +35:22; 158 M Cavendish (Columbia) +1:44:41.

Points: 1 O Freire (Sp) Rabobank 131pts; 2 K Kirchen (Lux) Columbia 124; 3 T Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 105. GB: 6 Cavendish 86.

King of the Mountains: 1 R Ricco (It) Saunier Duval 77pts; 2 D De la Fuente (Sp) Saunier Duval 65; 3 S Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 57.

Young riders: 1 Ricco 42hr 31min 38sec; 2 V Nibali (It) Liquigas +1:49; 3 M Monfort (Bel) Cofidis +4:18.

Team standings: 1 Saunier Duval 127hr 29min 48sec; 2 Team CSC +4:40; 3 AG2R +9:29.

Alasdair Fotheringham writes for www.cyclingweekly.co.uk

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before