Briton Mark Cavendish has continued his spectacular first full professsional season by taking stage two of the Four Days of Dunkirk in a bunch sprint where he easily outgunned all his rivals.
Cavendish?s T-Mobile team-mate and fellow Brit Roger Hammond came in third behind Quick Step sprinter Gert Steegmans.
?Roger led me out in the last kilometre and I was almost sprinting to get on his back wheel.? a delighted Cavendish told CW.
?I held on and was waiting for someone to come up so I could jump past them, but then in the last 250 metres I looked round and there was nobody there!?
?He was so far ahead of the rest he could have put his hands in the air with 100 metres to go.? added Hammond.
?We weren?t part of a ?T-Mobile train?, the rest of the team had done a lot of work up until the last five kilometres when the two of us took over and started bouncing through the bunch.?
?It wasn?t really my kind of finish, a long downhill and then an uphill again, but when I?ve got good form like now, any kind of finish is a good finish for me.? Cavendish pointed out.
Following Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) win in the opening stage, Cavendish? victory in the 185 kilometre stage from Saint-Amand-les-Eaux to Caudry is Britain?s second in three days in Dunkirk, and has propelled Cavendish into the lead of the points competition.
?I will be defending this lead as hard as I can. I?ve got two more stages I think I can win in, on Friday and on Sunday, but in any case I?ve got a good advantage.? Cavendish added.
Cavendish remarkable first season has already seen him win the prestigious Scheldeprijs Classic in Belgium in April. So far he is the only rider in his team, T-Mobile, to have taken more than one victory this season.
Cavendish moves up to 11th spot in the overall classification after today’s win.
FOUR DAYS OF DUNKIRK: STAGE THREE
1 Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) 184.9km in 4h21’02”
2 Gert Steegmans (Quick Step)
3 Roger Hammond (T-Mobile)
4 Matthew Goss (CSC)
5 Sebastian Siedler (Milram)
6 Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano)
7 Yauheni Hutarovich (Roubaix Lille Metropole)
8 Jeremie Galland (Auber)
9 Hans Dekkers (Ag2r)
10 Nico Eeckhout (Choclade Jacques)
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE THREE
1 BOUCHER David (Lanbouwkrediet) 9h05’19”
2 BONNET William (Credit Agricole) at 07″
3 BAK Lars Ytting (CSC) at 25″
4 MINARD Sébastien (Cofidis) at 26″
5 VASSEUR Cédric (Quick Step) at 27″
6 CORNU Dominique (Predictor-Lotto) at 28″
7 ENGOULVENT Jimmy (Credit Agricole) at 29″
8 ROSSELER Sébastien (Quick Step) at same time
9 ROOIJAKKERS Piet (Skil-Shimano) at 34″
10 EDALEINE Christophe (Credit Agricole) at 36″
11 CAVENDISH Mark (T-Mobile) at same time