Elite men road race photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

He did it! Mark Cavendish is the new World Champion after sprinting to victory in Copenhagen on Sunday.

The Manxman beat Australian Matt Goss and Andre Greipel to the line at the end of the 266km race.

His seven British team mates put in a brilliant performance to maintain control of the championship throughout.

Cavendish then made all the right moves in the chaotic uphill gallop, finding a line down the right hand barriers to take Britain’s first senior men’s world road title since the 1960s.

The 26 year old crossed the line with both hands in the air, his mouth wide open with delight. He was then congratulated by team mates, friends and rivals coming in behind him.

For the next year he will have the honour of wearing the rainbow stripes in all road races.

Team Performance

Not once during the race could the British team’s commitment to the Cavendish cause be doubted.

Almost from the moment a breakaway established itself on the opening lap of the main 14km circuit, the riders in red and blue took control of the situation. Chris Froome, Steve Cummings and Jeremy Hunt were particularly prominent early on.

With help from Germany and the USA they never let the lead get out of control then steadily brought it back to set up the sprint.

David Millar was in close attendance as the race entered the critical last two laps before Bradley Wiggins did a monster turn to keep the pace high in the final six kilometres. Australia then Germany took over the front for their fastmen on the narrow run in.

Things momentarily looked bad for Cavendish when his lead out train of Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas lost him as they burst up the right hand side in the final kilometre.

Nonetheless Cavendish is experienced enough to fend for himself and probably did his chances a favour by hiding in the wheels.

Biding his time, he made meticulous adjustments to his position before putting in his kick as the gradient eased shortly before the line.

As is the case so often with his sprints, no one could match him.

Road World Championships 2011: Elite men’s road race, 266km
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) in 5-40-27

2. Matt Goss (Aus)
3. André Greipel (Ger)
4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
5. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel)
6. Romain Feillu (Fra)
7. Borut Bozic (Slo)
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor)
9. Oscar Freire (Spa)
10. Tyler Farrar (USA) all same time
81. Geraint Thomas (GBr) at same time
99. Ian Stannard (GBr) at 34secs
108. Bradley Wiggins at 3-14
114. David Millar at 8-22
115. Jeremy Hunt at same time

Clarke escape, Elite men

Escape group

Bradley Wiggins takes up the chase, Elite men

Bradley Wiggins doesa mammoth turn in the final lap

Mark Cavendish wins elite men

Mark Cavendish wins the men’s road race

Mark Cavendish wins elite men

Mark Cavendish, world champion

Related links

Road World Championships 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index


  • simon metcalfe


  • Donald Wimble

    …please ALL remember to VOTE by PHONE on the evening (from 7pm on BBC1) of Thursday 22 December for MARK CAVENDISH to WIN BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 http://vote4cav.com #Cav4SPOTY

    …if we all vote 20 times, (15p per call), he will deservedly win! His fantastic efforts must be worth 3 of your £’s 😉

  • Jim

    Magnificent, just magnificent. Interesting that Thomas could lose him in the last k and he could still do it. Does this mean that at 2012 you just need to get him somewhere close, it doesn’t have to be a text book lead out (which it can’t be with only 5)?
    So proud, brilliant.

  • keith warmington

    Just fantastic. A brilliant team who just totally bossed the race and Cav finished it perfectly. Hats off to Dave Brailsford and his team they have done a stunning job . If he ran footie we’d win the world cup.

  • Berry Baker

    Hours later I am still exhausted from tension and excitement, but it was a great win not only for Cav but also all the team – what a spell Bradley Wiggins put in! And the Aussies let the Brits do all the work but couldn’t pinch our prize. Oh happy day!

  • katie

    Fabulous, GB have showed the world that Track or Road we are now the nation that deserves respect.

    Unfortunately with the demise of HTC we will never see the first 3 riders all having had HTC as a sponsor and yet no one wanted to put money into the team.

  • Ray Duffy

    Just like buses, you wait for ages and then 6 come along together, Brads Dauphine, Cavs Green in the Tour, Brad and Froomes Vuelta, Brads silver in the TT and now a fantastic World Champ…..Brilliiiiiiiant!!!! Well done all British competitors, girls,boys, U23s and elites.

  • PeterLB

    What a wonderful, wonderful day for Great Britain, this really is historic. How many times does a national team dominate the world champs road race and then win it? So many times we see teams do loads of work and then c*ck it up at the end.

    A truly fantastic achievement by all of them. Discipline and professionalism to back up all the that talent.

  • steve f

    what a rider,absolutely fantastic.myself,the wife ,the children screamed the house down ,well done cav

  • b wills

    a day i never thought i’d see ! Total control from the whole british team throughout the race
    never panicked and then when CAV hit the front I could finally breathe again Well done lads

  • Dave

    Who cares about BBC SPOTY. He’s already won the World Championship.

  • sheldon Howcroft

    What a fantastic race and performance by all the British team. The team did so much work and Cav’s victory was well earned. Never thought I would see the GB dictate a race in the world champs like they did that one.

  • J Dunn

    If only Cav could take up golf or horse racing he’d be a dead cert for the BBC SPOTY.

    Superb, best day for British cycling since 1965.

  • Vance Harvey

    Absolutely Fantastic!!!! Mark C is undoubtedly one of the top cyclists in the world – and all totally drug free.
    The race was amazing and the end was absolutely spell binding.
    A Massive Well Done to all the British team who worked so very hard – you guys are just so Incredible.

    Manni…..BBC SPOTY must be a total no-brainer for Cav now!

  • Mick W

    An awesome display by the whole Team, total commitment to Cav who demonstrated that He`s the best in the World no matter how messy a sprint gets! …..A shoo in for BBC SPOTY surely.

  • bill

    I yelled CCCAAAVVVEEENNNDDDIIISSSHHHH so loud they heard me across the POND

  • adam


    What a result! What a year! Well done Cav! Well done Team GB! Awesome!

  • Ian Ellis

    Only one word – awesome!

  • Manni


    That’s because I hollered ‘CCCAAAVVVEEENNNDDDIIISSSHHH’ so loudly at the finish that I have now lost my voice. My poor neighbours didn’t have a clue what was going on. Despite some head-scratching tactics, the whole British team really earned that iconic jersey… the hard man way… what an effort… I was out of my chair egging ’em on… and I’m Irish, so that’s saying something.

    BBC SPOTY for Cav… surely?!