Results tagged “Mark Cavendish” from spare cycles

ToC 2010 Stage 1: Cavendish

|
Stage 1 Mark Cavendish Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 1 goes to Mark Cavendish, who avoided the spills in the finishing circuits to easily beat the remaining sprinters. My galleries will be going up on Road Bike Action and Steephill.tv. I'm keeping a sparser collection here until I have time to put together fuller galleries.

Congrats to Jim, who wins the first of the Liz Hatch DVDs.

Contest note: you can lock-in your predictions whenever you want. I think Jim happened to have a very good prediction that I'm surprised hasn't been used for future stages...

Cav unbeatable

|

Not an exciting stage, but a great battle for the sprint finish as sprinters Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar had their best shot at disrupting Mark Cavendish to get a win -- but they failed. Milram came to the front with just over 1km to go, but Columbia's Tony Martin held the Columbia train together and broke on through. The Columbia train continued to win up as Hincapie then spun it up for Mark Renshaw, with Cavendish and Hushovd behind.

Hushovd went first and managed to come around Cavendish, who waited until late to leave Renshaw's wheel. Hushovd faded as Cavendish wound it up, but Tyler Farrar was on Hushovd's wheel and got a good slingshot to the finish. It didn't matter -- Cavendish again, Four Wins.

VeloNews has a nice article on Mark Renshaw. Renshaw is basically Cavendish's guardian. When Cav was off the back at the Tour of California with a mechanical, it was Renshaw who came back to pace him back. When it comes to the final sprint, Renshaw organizes the train as is the last to break off. Solid experience, so bravo to him as well.

Update: podiuminsight sent me a link to this sporza interview with Mark Renshaw

Mark Cavendish - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Well that didn't work

|

The organizers decide to ban race radios to make the stage more exciting, but they choose a dull, sprinter-friendly stage to do it. A break goes down the road, the teams eventually chase, the break gets caught in the final kilometers, Cavendish wins. I'm not sure what sort of improbability they were hoping would arise, but this stage was duller than any other sprint stage this Tour and with exactly the same result.

Greg Henderson Leads the High Road Paceline - (c) Ken Conley

Today looked a little like a bit like that -- Columbia hit it as the winds picked up and soon found themselves 30 seconds up the road doing a team time trial. Some important names like Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong (with Popovych and Zubeldia) tagged along. I hope Columbia saved a little for the team time trial, because that was an impressive display. Cavendish, of course, got the win, though his leadout train was a litlte ragged. Renshaw put in an impressive pull to contain a last-minute break and leadout Cav, who proceeded to ride Hushovd off his wheel.

It may pour a little salt in the Astana rivalry as Popo and Zubeldia both helped Lance Armstrong gain time on the field -- with Contador in it. But, given that Zubeldia was doing work, I imagine that the Contador was tranquil -- in the grand scheme of things, Contador is more than 30 seconds better than Armstrong and it may have been a tactical move to put pressure on the other teams not as well represented.

Mark Cavendish - (c) Ken Conley

Cancellara wins the opening time trial and Cavendish wins the opening sprint with a commanding leadout from his team. Tyler Farrar showed some promise by being the only sprinter to hang with the Columbia train -- it looks like he could notch his first TdF stage this year. I'm hoping for some strong crosswinds tomorrow to throw a dash of unpredictability into the mix.

Blossoms - (c) Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong - (c) Ken Conley
Cavendish Victorious - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong - (c) Ken ConleyLance Armstrong - (c) Ken ConleyPeloton - (c) Ken Conley

Yes, that was his victory salute.

See more photos in:

Tour of California Stage 5 Photo Gallery

Stage 4: Cavendish Gets His Win

|
Into the Sierras - (c) Ken Conley
Freire Out - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Nydam Down - (c) Ken Conley Fly V Australia - (c) Ken Conley

Tour of California Stage 4 Gallery

Cavendish had plenty of motivation going into this year's Tour of California. Last year his only stage victory was taken away as he was relegated for holding onto the team car in the final laps. Yesterday he was beaten out by Thor Hushovd after he tussled with Freddie Rodriguez. Today he got his first Tour of California victory and put Columbia on the board. It's a mixed day for Columbia as they lost Kim Kirchen to a crash that also took out Oscar Freire. I managed to catch Cavendish off the back on the approach into Clovis. He quickly got back with the help of Renshaw and a car boost.

Mark Cavendish - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

I spent the day in the Fly V Australia team car, where the day's story became clear even before the first climb was reached. Eleven riders failed to finish, either due to sickness, conditioning, or crashes. Nydam appeared to have one of the worse crashes as there was blood streaming from his chin when I passed. Jelly Belly only lost one rider, but two of their riders were off the back most of the day. Another of their riders, Bernard van Ulden, crashed on the final descent and had to pace himself to the finish with a bleeding knee and a bike several sizes too small. Ouch, Team Type 1, and Fly V all had similarly bad days. There are a lot of sore bodies in the peloton, including Landis, who also crashed with Freire and Kirchen.

Tour of California Stage 4 Gallery

Stage 13: Cavendish unbeatable

|

letour.jpgYesterday Mark Cavendish held up three fingers as he crossed the line. Today there was no finger counting -- the stage wins are just too numerous at this point. Columbia did their work at the front to keep the breakaways contained, knowing full well that they have the man to deliver on the line. All the sprint teams took their best shot. Even Robbie McEwen finally got his groove back on (sans leadout man), but Cavendish's kick is too much to match.

It was almost a good day for Milram: their man Terpstra was off the front for over 170km, first with Brard, then solo for another 15k before being caught. Then Milram setup a good leadout train for Zabel, but they went a bit too early as Hushovd's lead out sped past. Cavendish was smartly tucked in on Hushovd's wheel and was able to get a great jump.

A lot of French riders took their best shot today. Brard raced most of the day off the front with Terpstra. Later Auge took his shot and then Chavanel as the counterattacks kept coming, but too many sprint teams smelled blood.

There was plenty of jersey maintenance work today. Flecha had sweeper duties for Freire, leaping off the front to collect any remaining sprint points behind Brard and Terpstra. Gerolsteiner worked on their Lang/Kohl 1/2 in the KOM standings as Lang and Kohl swept up the third-place KOM points. They had a bit of a scare near the end when Krauss split his Specialized machine on a road sign, but he was able to walk away.

Stage 12: Cavendish x 3, Ricco idiot

|

letour.jpgCavendish has more than established himself as the sprinter of now and future. Three stage wins in his first Tour de France is an amazing feat and there may be more to come. It was a messy setup for the sprint finish. No team could really hold the front. Columbia drove it until about 1k to go, then got swarmed by Milram, which got overtaken by Credit Agricole, which got overtaken by Quick Step. Cavendish was attentive throughout and surged to the front with his impressive acceleration. Poor sprinter Robbie Hunter, who lost Cooke today as well continuing Barloworld's streak of losses. Hunter was forced to grab whatever wheel he could.

The big news today was of course the loss of Stupido Ricco, who demonstrated that his poor judgment when he runs his mouth is as bad as his judgment otherwise. Also, it is too much to have two amazing mountain stages in a row. Saunier Duval became the first team to withdraw, which makes me wonder what they caught Ricco with. Perhaps it was inevitable: his idol is Pantani.

Today's break was Oroz, Dumoulin and Gerard, who seemed to dangle just off the front of the peloton forever. Stuart O'Grady did the final reel-in, but then switched into an interesting tactic. TV cameras showed Cadel Evans with nary a teammate in sight, so O'Grady moved back to the front with Schleck on his wheel. Evans was forced to take third wheel, at least until the sprint teams reasserted control. It's not a move that cost Evans much, except perhaps the sly insult at his team. It's a sprint stage, Silence-Lotto. There's gotta be one rider you have left that can watch after your yellow jersey rider.

letour.jpgColumbia went 1-2 as Cavendish led it across the line in front of lead-out man Gerard Ciolek. It was a deserving win for Columbia. They had to pull double duty today to protect both their yellow jersey and sprint interests. Not only did Columbia spend most of the day setting tempo at the front of the peloton, but they also did the last of the reel-in of today's break and much of the sprint train into the finish. Quick Step eventually swarmed their train with 2k to go, but Cavendish and Ciolek were attentive and able to slot in well.

Columbia is dominating at this point in the Tour:

  • Stage wins: 2 (Cavendish)
  • Yellow jersey: Kirchen
  • White jersey: Lovkvist

They're also second in the team classification. They lost the green jersey today to Oscar Freire in a tie-breaker with Kirchen.

The day was wet and rainy, so much of the day was left to the breakaways. de la Fuente went early to sweep up some more KOM points for his jersey. Bouyges Telecom's Lefevre then spent a lot of time off the front solo before being joined by teammate Pineau, Euskatel's Txurruka, and AG2R's Riblon. Pineau and Txurruka were the last to survive, as it seemed that the peloton let them dangle off the front as long as possible to keep the counter attacks contained.

letour.jpgThe peloton timed its reel in of the break to near perfection today. There's been a lot of criticism from the sprinters about controlling and reeling in the breakaways. With so many teams hunting GC chances, there's not as many teams willing to do grunt work for their sprinters.

Today a breakaway of Vogondy, Jegou and Brard was kept within striking distance, then Credit Agricole, Liquigas, Columbia, and Quick Step worked to reel them in. A couple of small crashes in the final kilometers hardly disrupted the charge, but with a mile to go the break still found itself just off the front -- then Vogondy attacked. On a long straightaway finish, the charging peloton hovered behind Vogondy. It wasn't until after Mark Cavendish launched his sprint that Vogondy was swallowed up. Cavendish was hoping for a stage win at Stage 3, but he can be happy to notch his first win today. Columbia won't even mind the fact that they lost the green jersey to Thor Hushovd today.

Soler finally abandoned today after toughing out his wrist injury since stage 1. Valverde crashed today though the damage appeared minor.

Thierry Roge of Reuters captured a great sequence at Scheldeprijs/Grand Prix de l'Escaut. Tom Boonen pulled a Zabel and lost the sprint to Cavendish by celebrating too early, but Boonen got his revenge at the podium ceremony. Champagne and cleats don't mix.

Some thoughts on the Cavendish deal

|

What follows is hearsay and personal opinion, but as I've seen some confusion as to what happened at the end of Stage 6 with Mark Cavendish losing the stage, I thought I'd try and clarify things as best as I understand:

  • Mark Cavendish crashed and took out pretty much the entire Rock Racing squad, including Cipollini and Rodriguez. The crash occurred during the finishing circuits. Photos
  • Both Cavendish and Cipollini used the assistance of a team car to get back into the pack. Cipollini's mechanic was smart enough to pretend to work on Cipo's seat post. One photographer I talked to witnessed Cavendish holding onto the team car with no mechanic leaning out, then getting waved off by the race referee. It's possible that the mechanic was working on something in the car.
  • Cavendish was penalized 20 seconds, which negated his victory.

Team High Road cited The Levi Rule in protest of Cavendish's 20 second penalty. I feel that the comparison is a bit apples and oranges, regardless of how you feel about the rules being bent in Levi's case. In particular:

  • Levi didn't cause the crash
  • There were no team cars for Levi to hang on to as they had been cleared from the circuit.
  • Levi didn't win the stage, though the overall jersey is more important.

In other words, I think Cavendish's victory was too flagrant to ignore and I think Levi would happily have accepted a 20 second penalty to latch back onto the peloton -- he would have still won the 2007 ToC, though only by one second. In fact, Levi did get a time penalty in the Tour de France getting a water bottle ride from the Disco team car after flatting before a climb. Disco also complained about that penalty, but strategically it was still the right decision.

Luciano Pagliarini Takes Victory From Second - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Sprint Finish - (c) Ken Conley Luciano Pagliarini - (c) Ken Conley

Above: Mark Cavendish Gets His Victory Salute on Course, Pagliarini Gets His After the Race

Stage 6 Photo Gallery

Luciano Pagliarini - (c) Ken ConleyOnce again Luciano Pagliarini once again raised the Brazilian flag on American soil, but first their was much confusion. At first the stage seemed to be the miraculous comeback of Mark Cavendish to take the stage: a crash on the second lap, a hectic chase to get back in the peloton, and victory in the final sprint -- only the miracle turned out to be the assistance of a team car that he hung on to. High Road says that Cavendish's rear derailleur was broken and needed fixing, the judge said 20 seconds and no first for you. It's a disappointing result for the San Luis Obispo-based Team High Road, which is still looking for Tour of California success.


Mark Cavendish - (c) Ken Conley Mark Cavendish in the Peloton on the First Lap - (c) Ken Conley

Above: Mark Cavendish is in the peloton on the first lap, but soon finds himself banged up and chasing alone

Today is the type of finish that makes a photographer groan. You get the shot of the person first across the line. You get lots of photos of the celebration afterward. And then the person who walks onto the podium is not the person you shot.

Stage 6 Photo Gallery