Mark Cavendish sprinted to a second successive stage win at the 2010 Vuelta a Espana in Burgos with an almost mirror image of yesterday’s comfortable victory and celebrated with a cheeky bunny hop on the line.
After a perfect lead out from HTC-Columbia team-mate Matthew Goss, Cavendish took victory on the 13th stage ahead of Cervelo’s Thor Hushovd and Liquigas’ Daniele Bennati.
It was Cavendish’s 22nd grand tour stage win, and the 61st professional win of his short career to date.
The result means that Cavendish extends his lead in the points jersey to 21 points over nearest challenger Tyler Farrar (Garmin).
As usual the sprinter paid tribute to the work of his HTC-Columbia team-mates: “I’ve got an incredible team. I keep saying it but it’s true.
“It was carnage with 1km to go and some people would have thought we were too far back but we had done our homework and knew it was wide on the final turn.
“It’s better to have a star team than a team of stars. It’s an incredible situation to be in and I’m so proud.”
Quick Step drove hard in the final stages of the race but another tricky corner in the last kilometre caused confusion in the ranks and Goss expertly piloted Cavendish to the front.
Cavendish said of his Australian lead out man: “He is so fast. I usually go at 250m to go but I couldn’t go until 170m. Hopefully he can get a stage before the race is finished.”
At one point a five-strong breakaway group of Allan Davis (Astana), Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Manuelle Mori (Lampre), Giampulo Cheula (Footon-Servetto-Fuji) and Niki Terpstra (Milram) held a lead of seven minutes 32 seconds over the peloton but work by the Quick Step and Garmin teams slowly reeled in the leaders.
Terpstra made a brave attempt at victory in the final 5km but his attempt always looked doomed to failure.
Going into today’s 196km stage from Rincon de Soto to Burgos. Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Igor Anton held a 45 second advantage ahead of Liquigas’ Vincenzo Nibali and a 1-04 cushion over Xavier Tondo of Cervelo.
With the peloton finishing together Anton retains the leader’s red jersey and with the Cantabrian mountains to come over the weekend, the climber looks well positioned to take the red jersey into the third week. Other overall contenders could find it difficult to prise off his back before the race finishes in Madrid on September 19.
Ireland’s Nicolas Roche maintained his ninth position overall.
Kiwi pair Julian Dean (Garmin-Transitions) and Hayden Roulston (HTC Columbia) both pulled out of the race for reasons that are currently unclear.
Vuelta a Espana 2010, stage 13: Rincón de Soto to Burgos, 196km
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
4. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux
5. Manuel Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
7. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha
8. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Theo Bos (Ned) Cervelo
10. Johnnie Walker (Aus) Footon-Servetto all same time.
Overall classification after stage 13
1. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 45sec
3. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervelo at 1-04
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1-17
5. Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia at 1-29
6. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne at 1-57
7. Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 2-07
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne at 2-13
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r at 2-30
10. Frank Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank same time
Mark Cavendish takes his second consecutive stage victory in Spain
Cheers! Mark Cavendish celebrates his 22nd grand tour stage win
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Related links
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Stage reports
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Photo galleries