Tour de Romandie 2010, stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) won the second stage of the 2010 Tour de Romandie in Switzerland on Thursday.

It was a return to the form that saw Cavendish secure 23 pro victories in 2009, and the Manxman gave a two-fingered salute as he crossed the line in Freiburg safely ahead of his bunch sprint rivals.

Who was the salute aimed at? Probably his critics judging by his post-race comment that it was to send a message to the “journalists and commentators who know jack-**** about cycling”. Cavendish has struggled to regain the form of last year after a persistent tooth infection played havoc with his early season. However, the focus of his year has always been on winning the green jersey at the Tour de France in July.

The win in Romandie is Cavendish’s second victory of the year after he took a stage of the Tour of Catalonia. Cavendish pointed out that the same difficult finishing circuit had been used in the Tour of Romandie for each of the last two years and he’d been dropped, but this year he stuck with the leaders over the climbs and finished it off with a convincing sprint.

It was the Cavendish of old. His HTC-Columbia squad rallied to bring their man to the front of the pack in the run-in to the line, delivering him perfectly and well clear of second-placed Danilo Hondo (Lampre).

Robert Hunter (Garmin-Transitions) came home in third.

The performance was a marked contrast to Wednesday’s opening road stage, where Cavendish was dropped on the big climb of the day and missed the sprint.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas) took fifth on the stage to retain his race lead over Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia team-mate, Marco Pinotti.

Britain’s Ben Swift (Team Sky) improved on the previous day’s ninth place by taking eighth behind Cavendish.

The riders now face Friday’s stage three 23.4km individual test against the clock, which will undoubtedly shake up the overall classification.

Tour de Romandie 2010, stage two: Freiburg-Frieburg
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia

2. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini
3. Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions
4. Luca Sebastien Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
6. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
8. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky all same time.

Overall classification after stage two
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo

2. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia

Tour de Romandie 2010, stage 2

Stage two scenery

Liquigas, Tour de Romandie 2010, stage 2

Liquigas head the bunch for race leader Peter Sagan

Mark Cavendish wins Tour of Romandie 2010 stage 2

Mark Cavendish: V is for victory?

Related links
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one: Young gun Sagan takes Romandie stage one
Prologue: Pinotti wins Romandie opener
Froome faces race to be fit for Giro after time trial crash
CW’s all-time list of British pro winners

  • Adrien

    Cav is just a spoiled brat, what an embarrasement for the sport. Grow up man. Give me Griepel anyday.

  • Ken Evans

    It should win him plenty of friends in the peloton (NOT) !

    More like Armstrong than Indurain.

  • Nick d Saint

    He was only indicating the fact that he’s intending to win TWO stages before he is done!!!
    I agree with him, however! There are many (loads, even) of “journo’s” on the circuit who have NEVER ridden a road bike properly/completed a major european sportive/know ANYTHING about elite-level sport!!!!
    There, I’ve said it!!!! Give ME a major broadsheet cycling job a.s.a.p. and there’ll be NO MORE of these obscene guestures from “OUR CAV”!!!!!!

  • JC

    What a clown! It’s not the first time he has embarrassed himself and the sport. How he can be let off with this behaviour is beyond me, he should be penalised (he certainly would in football, rugby or F1) as kids will copy this kind of stuff and the last thing sport needs is more jumped up, self-involved, over inflated ego idiots.

    Fair enough he is a good sprinter, but there are bigger names in cycling and do you see them acting this way? No! He needs to get a grip and I’m sure he will when the next up and coming sprinter comes along and knocks him further off his perch.

  • John McManus

    Why was he not relegated to the back of the peleton? We have waited all these years for a champion and this prat comes along, perhaps he should take up football, he might fit in well

  • neil duerden

    I would much rather have(clean) winners like Mark than others like Vino/DiLuca/Rebillin et al every time.

    Supreme self confidence-not arrogance-is a pre requisite of sprinting as well as the mentality of a prize boxer.

    His comments were made minutes after winning-pumped up full of adrenalin-so perhaps not too surprising considering the pressure he has been under recently.

  • John Dee

    It is quite easy to understand why he should feel that way. It has not been an easy time for him and I suspect many people had lost faith in him but when all is said and done he can suffer and survive and the satge win proved just that in what is a very tough event. Maybe good that he has had a slow start for him this year and that will serve him really well for the Tour de France.

    However showing two fingers was not the most intelligent of moves and does not endear Mark or cycle sport to the wider public which is where his audience now is. Perhaps Columbia should spend just a little time grooming him because underneath I suspect he is a really nice, if somewhat vulnerable, lad. A good example for him would be Wayne Rooney – once very wayward but now seen as quite a role model!

  • woody

    What a prat. No class. Said it before, cycling doesn’t need ‘winners’ like this. Hope Thor shines in July, now there’s a classy rider who can climb, sprint and win with style and respect for the sport.

  • martin

    you may have won Mark, and I’m glad you did, but the two-fingers thing makes you look like an idiot

  • Mark H


    Nice one, Cav. That’ll remind the false pretenders who is boss.

  • RB

    Good old Cav. No doubt plenty of people will have lots of disparaging things to say about him. He’s a bit of a rough lad but such a good sprinter.

  • Dave

    Nice one Cav